Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac Object Lesson

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Sacrifice. It isn’t something people like to talk about, let alone live. This lesson based upon Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac will help children to understand the meaning of sacrifice and why God asks us to be a living sacrifice.

Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac

Scripture Focus: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; 22:1-19

Materials: small model or picture of a ram; gold, black, red, and white construction paper (or a wordless book)

Geography: locate the land of Canaan

Background: God promised that He would 1) give Abram land; 2) turn his family into a great nation; 3) make his name great; and 4) bless all the families of the world through him. God made a blood covenant with Himself, promising these things to Abram.

Object Lesson for Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac:

{Hold up the model sheep or ram.}

{Ask:}

  • What is this? [A sheep/ram]
  • What do we know about sheep and the Old Testament? [Allow for answers. Be sure that sacrificing in the temple, or on altars, is mentioned.]
  • Why were sheep slaughtered and burned for sacrifices? [Because God told the Hebrews to sacrifice the sheep for sins. The sheep took the place of the people. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Something, or someone, must die.]

Bible Lesson for Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac:

Abram and Sarai left everything they knew to follow God’s directions. He took them to a new land that would eventually be used for their descendants. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. As part of the promise, God told Abram that he would have descendants. The only way for that to happen is for Sarai to have a baby. Twenty-four years go by. Abram still does not have a son.

God appeared to Abram and spoke the promise again. God also changed Abram’s name to Abraham because he was to be the Father of Many Nations. Then God changed Sarai’s name to Sarah because she was to be the Mother of Many Nations. At this, Abraham questioned God because he was 99 years old and Sarah was 90. But God assured Abraham that Sarah would have a son.

A year late Sarah had a son and he was named Isaac. And Isaac grew into a boy and then a young man.

{Read Genesis 22:1-19. Remind the children that this Old Testament account happened thousands of years before Jesus came to earth. As you read, point out the parallels between this event and Jesus’ crucifixion. These parallels include:}

  • your only son = God’s only Son
  • saddled a donkey to ride = Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem
  • two young men went with them = 2 thieves on the crosses
  • arrived on the third day = resurrected on the third day
  • Isaac carried the wood = Jesus carried the wooden cross
  • bound Isaac and laid him on the altar = Jesus nailed to the cross
  • ram caught in the thicket by the horns = the crown of thorns on Jesus’ head
  • The ram replaced Isaac as the sacrifice = Jesus too our place and was the sacrifice for our sins
  • The place called “The Lord Will Provide” = God provided His own Son
  • Because Abraham obeyed, he was blessed = When we obey God, we are blessed

Abraham and Isaac, through this testing, are “acting out” the crucifixion and salvation experience to some degree. God is asking Abraham to sacrifice his son, his one and only son. Abraham’s faith now is quite different from his lack of faith when he went to Egypt during the famine. Isaac understood that something was going on when he asked Abraham, “Where is the lamb?”

The book of Hebrews tells us that Abraham’s faith was strong and that he concluded that if God had promised to give him Isaac, and that all of the other blessings were to come through him, therefore God must raise Isaac from the dead. What a difference compared to the fear Abraham had in Egypt!


Life Application of Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac:

Even though Abraham knew nothing about Jesus, he did know God. Abraham did not know the ten commandments either because they came hundreds of years later. Romans 4:3 tells us that Abraham believed God and then righteousness was given to him.

For those of us after the Old Testament, we do know about Jesus. We are to tell others about Jesus. For us, our righteousness comes through believing in Jesus.

{Proceed through the Wordless Book.}

(Show the gold page.) Describe God. God is holy, glorious, and perfect.

(Show the black page.) Describe people. We are black with sin. We cannot have a relationship with God because of this sin. All of us have fallen short of the glory of God. We are like Isaac. We must die because of sin. BUT!

(Show the red page.) God sent a substitute for us! Just like the ram was substituted for Isaac, Jesus takes our place. The wages of sin is death.

(Hold up the ram.) Instead of us having to die, God sent JESUS to die and take our place. JESUS is the One who fixes the sin problem that we have. If we believe in the Lord Jesus, then instead of God seeing us black with sin…

(Show the white page.) He sees us as being clean and righteous, like Abraham was because of his faith in God. The Bible tells us that if we believe on the Lord Jesus, then we will be saved. And that is one of God’s promises. Would you like to be white as snow tonight? Would you like all of that sin to be washed away?

Once you decide to believe in Jesus, He makes you righteous before God. Now you can live a life walking around like a Living Sacrifice because Jesus died in your place. A person who is a Living Sacrifice is one who tries to think, say, and do what Jesus would do. This is the opposite life of someone who stays in their sin. A Living Sacrifice dies to self. We put our wants and desires to the side and put others first.

What can we learn from Abraham and Isaac? God sent His Son, His only Son, to Earth. Jesus was divine and sinless, but He took our place and died on the cross. He rose three days later. His death allows us to live.

***Allow a time of prayer and for the children to respond to the gospel presentation. See How to Counsel a Child for Salvation.***

Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac

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