Abraham, Isaac, and the Snake Crusher

My local church is going through a series called The Story of the Snake Crusher which looks at the grand narrative of Scripture through the lens of the gospel. The following is a poem I wrote inspired by this series’ focus on Abraham and Isaac. The poem weaves between Abraham’s story (regular typeface) and Jesus’ sacrifice (bold & italic typeface).

 

“Number the stars, if you can”

Said holy God to sinful man

Your lineage shall be like heaven, immense

So faith sprung alive. Righteousness was dispensed

 

 

Amongst the stars Abraham observed

Lay one for Mary’s Son reserved

A mystery hidden in heavenly show

Righteousness destined for swaddling clothes

 

 

Still, a quarter-a-century of waiting took place

Till patriarch witnessed his child born of grace

But shattering Abraham’s joy manifest

Was a call for child’s slaying, father’s faith now to test

 

 

Thousands of years, with Israel oppressed

Passed till the birth through which nations be blessed

Mixed were Simeon’s words offering holy hints

Salvation at last, but with pangs to parents

 

 

So trembling arm held high the knife

Prepared to slay the promised child’s life

When the eyes of a father met his son

And through tears said, “God’s will be done”

 

 

And so, the Son grieved in the garden

Prepared to die for holy pardon

Sought other means sin might resign

But through tears said, “Your will, not mine”

 

 

But lo, an angel’s halt was heard

And father’s affections greatly stirred

For God’s love for Abraham, one befriended

Had not the death of Isaac intended

 

 

And though twelve thousand angel hosts

At Christ’s appeal would leave their posts

Nary could a warrior lift a blade

Their zeal for God, by God, was stayed

 

 

“The Lord will provide.” Abraham once stated

To son whose back with wood was weighted

And a father’s words found joyful fulfillment

Through substitute beast trapped in a thicket

 

 

The curse of Adam: thorns and sweat

On God’s incarnate skin they met

Dug in His brow, poured from His glands

Creator killed at creation’s hands

 

 

So ram was slaughtered and son descended

One life preserved, another ended

A motif marking Jewish life

Peace with God through bloody strife

 

 

Hence Christ was killed to give saints pardon

And crush the snake from Eden’s garden

Giving priest’s words realization, that

“Better One Man die than His nation”

 

 

Abraham and Isaac, their time later expired

Welcomed from afar the promises uttered

These fathers of many went down to their graves

The road for Messiah their lineage paved

 

 

For the joy set before Him, Christ gave up His spirit

Proving in three days the grave could not limit

His power, His victory, the grand narrative’s thread

Of the perfect Son’s love of His Church now to wed

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