Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 2, 2021

He put the wood on His shoulders

The price and penalty had to be paid, and there was only ever One who could and would. The miracle of Jesus’ birth was not only that God became man, but He had done so for the purpose that laid before Him today. He sweat blood as He prayed over it last night in the Garden. He cried out as a natural response to the choice He’d already made in giving in to it fully. Repeatedly, He told those closest that this was coming. He would die. There was no other way.

The moment sin entered the world by our action, there was no other answer for its defeat. God could never contradict His nature, and He could never allow a single soul into His presence unless it was as perfect as He. Sin broke the perfect communion He had with us in the garden, and there would never again be a created being who would measure up. And so, God would choose to do what He never could or would require of another in order to save us.

There was one ask that came perilously close, however. It was of a father who was convinced he would never be one. A man who God chose to work through in His plan to rescue the world, and whose family was at the center of that plan. There was one major problem. This promised father of many was not even yet the father of one. Through nothing short of a miracle, and despite his own tragic choices to “help” God’s promise along, God gave Abraham a son. This appeared to be God’s test of His chosen one, but the test was yet to come. God would visit Abraham soon with an unthinkable ask.

Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭22:2‬ (‭NLT)‬‬

And what do you suppose the Bible says next about Abraham’s reaction to this unthinkable ask?

The next morning Abraham got up early. He saddled his donkey and took two of his servants with him, along with his son, Isaac. Then he chopped wood for a fire for a burnt offering and set out for the place God had told him about.
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭22:3‬ ‭(NLT)‬‬

He got up early.

There is another startling statement in this story that so clearly points to Jesus and His great sacrifice on this day. After Abraham put the wood on his son’s shoulders and they began walking together toward the mountain, Isaac asked his father a question. “We have the fire and wood,” Isaac asked, “but where is the sheep for the offering?”

From the place of certain faith and trust that got Abraham up early the day after the ask, he answers his son …

“God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together.
‭Genesis‬ ‭22:8‬ ‭(NLT)‬‬

There was no hesitation in the father’s response to the son, after having placed the wood on his son’s shoulders. He trusted God to provide the sheep.

We know the ending to this story. As the son lay fully bound on the wood of the altar of sacrifice with Abraham’s knife raised high to do as God asked, God calls out to Abraham from Heaven and commands him to stop. Abraham had done as God asked and withheld nothing from Him. Then God did what Abraham trusted God would … He provided a sheep in the form of a ram caught in a nearby thicket.

God provided a ram on that day and the perfect Lamb on this one. But this time He would not spare a son in order to save. This time he gave his only Son in order to save. There was no other way. In completing the plan of redemption, God placed wood on the shoulders of his Son and did not withhold anything from us in order to save us. Oh, how He loves you and me.

p.s.  On the subject of suffering, there is a verse that gets so often misinterpreted and misapplied. It is far too common to hear a Christian attempt to “encourage” another with words they believe to be biblical. “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Please, dear brothers and sisters, on this day that most deeply illustrates the pinnacle of suffering, can we see the whole truth of things and encourage more rightly. Let us not misquote and misapply the Word of God shared through the hand of Paul who wrote:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬ ‭(ESV‬‬)

This deep and true encouragement is for temptations, not troubles. God will not allow a temptation that assures the result of sin. Every one He allows in your life comes with a way of escape of His own making and leads to Him always. An escape to a refuge in Him that allows you to endure, no matter how hard things get or for how long they persist.

And may we replace the misquote with an assurance that comes through looking at this specific day of overwhelming darkness and sacrifice that is also one of thrilling and complete victory! That God will never ask something of you that He has not first given of Himself. Emmanuel, God with us, has died and risen again and broken the power of any and every darkness for you and for me. We serve a risen Savior who’s in the world today!



  1. Reminds me of our own individual, yet collective, provided opportunity to carry some wood. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25)
    Again, the needed sacrifice to find my (our) Life is provided by the Father of fathers. Thank You Father for providing the sacrifice on our wood. Thank You Jesus for being the sacrifice on our wood. Thank you mark for your wood carrying role in sharing with us today.

    “On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided.“ Genesis 22:14

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