The Father’s Sacrifice

Genesis 22:6–8:

And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.

Romans 8:32:

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

Donald Macleod, Christ Crucified (IVP, 2014), 64:

What can we say as to the precise nature of the Father’s actions at Calvary? The New Testament answer is breathtaking. He acted in the role of priest. Just as Jesus ‘gave’ his life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45) so God the Father ‘gave’ his one and only Son (John 3:16); just as Christ ‘delivered up’ himself as a fragrant offering (Eph. 5:2) so God the Father ‘delivered up’ his own Son (Rom. 8:32).

Clearly, then, corresponding to the priesthood of the self-giving Son there is a priesthood of God the Father. From this point of view, Golgotha becomes his temple, where, far from abusing a child or sadistically inflicting cruelty, he is engaged in the most solemn business that earth can witness. He is offering a sacrifice. The cross is his altar, and his own Son the sacrifice.

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