Summary: This is drama/sermon focusing on the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac; with the attention paid to Isaac and his cooperation.
(Build an "altar" of wood on a table on the stage area. Have an older man [Abraham] and an older teenager [Isaac] act out the scene as you describe what is happening. Make sure the teenager is large enough to be able to "overcome" Abraham, if he chose to. Dress contemporarily)
Tell an illustration about personal sacrifice.
1. Read Genesis 22:1-2
A. Describe the situation.
1) Abraham had prayed and waiting on the "son of the promise" for decades and God had finally given him Isaac; thus fulfilling the promise that Abraham would be both a father and the father of a race that would be "number-less".
2) Abraham was around 115-120 years by the time this story takes place. Isaac is in his late teens or early 20’s; base on phrase in 21:34 "a long time".
3) God has just instructed Abraham to take his "son of the promise" and kill him as a sacrifice to Himself. Can you imagine? His only son. The son he waited for decades to have. The son that God promised him. Now he is to take him and kill him.
2. Read Genesis 22:3-5
A. What was Abraham’s response? Anger? Debate? Rebellion?....none of the above. He obeyed.
B. Could he have possibly understood what God’s intentions were? No. Read Isaiah 55:8-9.
C. Abraham did not hesitate. He made all the necessary preparations and he, Isaac, and two servants left "early the next morning" for the holy mountain of Moriah. It took them 3 days to get there.
D. When they arrived, Abraham said an interesting thing to the servants (read vs 5 with emphasis on "we"). Abraham left the servants at the base of the mountain (possibly for fear that they would try to hinder his mission) and then he and Isaac went up.
E. (From this point on, the actors will enter, acting out the story as you tell it. Isaac needs to be carrying some of the wood and Abraham needs to have a sizeable knife for effect).
3. Read Genesis 22:6-10
A. Desribe Abraham’s possible feelings as he climbed the mountain with his son (young, strong man).
1) Would Isaac understand what God told him to do?
2) Would Isaac resist and rebel?
3) Could he actually plunge the knife into his son?
4) Did he trust God that much?
B. Describe Isaac’s possible feelings when he realized what he father was about to do.
1) Had his father gone mad in his old age?
2) Why would God demand this kind of sacrifice?
3) How could he be the "promise of a new nation" if he was dead?
4) Did he trust God that much?
(As you talk your way through this scene, the actors should be silently acting it out, including extreme sadness and despair at what was about to happen. Abraham should "tie" Isaac’s hands and place him on the altar).
C. After a moment of silence where Abraham raises the knife to heaven and silently prays, he should place his hand over Isaac’s eyes and raise the knife up with his other hand, as though he were about to kill him.
1) At this point, you (or someone with a mic offstage) should strongly say "Abraham, Abraham!"
2) He replies, "Here I am"
3) God: (read Genesis 22:12)
4) Abraham: in obvious relief, he hugs Isaac (still on the altar) and then turns and leaves, with Isaac still laying on the altar. He noticably lays the knife down on Isaac’s chest before he exits.
4. Remainder of message & invitation to commitment is done with Isaac remaining on the altar as a visual reminder of the willingness to sacrifice his all for God.
A. As you lead into an invitation to commitment, talk about the willingness of Isaac to allow Abraham to kill him, simply because God said so. Isaac could have easily overpowered Abraham, but did not.
1) Isaac trusted his father
2) Isaac trusted his God
B. Invitation: Will you take a step of faith and move your "trust level" to that of Isaac?