God tested Abraham: Will his faith and obedience, his fear of the Lord, and his trust in God’s providence, be stronger than his love for his son? What an enormous sacrifice God was demanding! Abraham must have felt every sinew in his body contort with tension, as the lines around the painting indicate. He turns Isaac’s face away from him so he may keep his own eyes on the Lord’s will.
God tests us even today. In Mt 10:37, we hear that if we love father or mother, son or daughter more than Jesus, we are not worthy of Him. Thus, when we are confronted with a choice of either offending God or offending our loved ones, the decision must be made not to sin against God, even if it hurts others. This is a terrible sacrifice for those who have to endure it.
I painted Abraham’s dagger as a crucifix. Jesus, bore the ultimate sacrifice for us while the word of God is a two-edged sword that could divide our loyalties. By being united with the Word, we can prevail in our trials. Subsequently, with our sacrifice comes joy; the joy of truly belonging to Christ.