Scripture: Genesis 22:1-14 (NIV)
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Anakin Skywalker never gave up. That might be a great trait in battle, in trying to figure out how to beat the other side, but it didn’t work so well for a Jedi that was supposed to not have attachments. The fact that he could not accept his mother’s passing at the hands of Tusken Raiders started him down the path toward evil and destruction. The worry he felt over losing Padme accelerated that decline.
What if Anakin had been like Abraham in today’s lesson? What if Anakin had been able to accept loss, even when it didn’t make sense? Abraham surely had to wonder what God’s plan was here. He’d waited forever for God to provide the heir He had promised, and now God wanted him to sacrifice Isaac? How were all these descendents going to come to pass if his only offspring was no longer living?
Whatever worries he had, whatever sadness and fear he had in his heart, Abraham kept it to himself. He was willing to go the extra mile to do what God wanted done. He would let go of what he had to satisfy the Creator of the universe, trusting Him to fulfill His plan one way or another.
Thankfully, God took after Abraham more than He did Anakin. He could have never sent His Son to us for our sins. Why should He? We’re an ungrateful, arrogant, backsliding lot. He did, though, and we crucified Him. It was part of a plan, sure, but it’s still an horrific act that humans perpetrated on their own God. He could have just wiped us out like Anakin with his lightsaber, but He didn’t. Instead, Jesus rose again, assuring us eternal life if we just believed.
I don’t get it. I know it happened, I believe it happened, but the amount of love that it took for that is just beyond my comprehension. I hope that I, in my lesser way, can give up what is “mine” when it necessary so that I can help advance the Kingdom.