Picture the scene. Abraham and Isaac have walked up the mountain. Abraham, his eyes overflowing with tears, has bound up his son on the altar. He raises the knife, hands shaking, and begins to lower it. Then, suddenly, “Abraham, Abraham!” a voice cries from heaven. The voice tells Abraham, “Now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” (Gen. 22:12). Abraham lifts up his eyes and sees a ram caught in a thicket by his horns. He offers the ram as sacrifice instead, joyfully unbinding Isaac and embracing him. He names the mountain “the Lord will provide,” and from it came the saying, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided” (Gen. 22:14).
On a different mountain, many years later, another child is to be sacrificed. That child is us. We are bound for life, having nothing to offer to our God. We cannot live the perfect life he requires; therefore, we must die for our sins. But wait! There is a ram this time also, for on the mount of the Lord it shall be provided. The ram is Jesus. He willingly sacrifices himself in our place. We are saved, unbound – we are able to run joyfully into the embrace of God!
God knows what we truly need, the only thing we are incapable of getting by ourselves. We need salvation, and he provided it for us. Isaac needed salvation from death. He was bound up and helpless. God provided the ram so that he could be saved and unbound. We also needed salvation from death. We were bound up with our sins, unable to help ourselves. God provided Jesus so that we could be saved and unbound. Now that we are saved, we are also free. With God’s provision of faith in our hearts, we can serve him willingly and without worry.