On Easter of this year, Angel Studios, which produced The Chosen, released the film His Only Son, directed and produced by David Helling. The film follows the life of Abraham and draws a parallel between him being called to sacrifice of his son, Isaac, and God sacrificing Jesus. After watching the move, I came away with three reminders that I hope will encourage you as this semester comes to a close.
Trust in God’s Promises
We are meant to be confident in the promises of the Lord, even when His timing does not align with ours. In the beginning of the film, Abraham and Sarah struggle with waiting on God to provide a child. They tearfully approach the Lord with doubts as they were both old and barren, asking, “How much longer?” Despite their questions, Abraham ultimately comes to the wise conclusion that it will happen when God wills for it. So often, we try to rush the Lord and the plan He has for us. Even in our doubt, the Father is kind and has arms extended to us. He is able to handle our questions and doubts and it is ultimately better to hand him those vulnerabilities than to reject Him.
In the end, God fulfills His promise to Abraham and gives them a son, Isaac. Although it looked different than Abraham expected, God’s plan was ultimately perfect. In the same way, things often seem hopeless from our perspective, but we are called to trust in God, whose plan is always better and more glorious than we could imagine. Proverbs 3:5-6 highlights this truth: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Appreciate Jesus’ Sacrifice
Oftentimes, it can be easy to develop a spirit of entitlement and forget all that the Lord has provided for us. In the movie, Isaac’s innocent and reverent spirit is both an encouragement and a challenge. He exclaimed to his father: “The Lord has been good to give us everything. How can we give it in return?” This mindset is the same spirit of gratitude we should have for the Lord. Consider Paul’s words in Philippians 2:6-8 about Jesus: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Like Isaac, Jesus was undeserving of such a punishment, yet he revered his Father and accepted His role in the redemption of humanity. We should strive daily to stand in reverence and gratitude for what Christ has done for us, even beyond Easter celebrations. We should challenge ourselves to never grow weary of the Gospel’s relevance and impact on our lives.
Submit Fully to God
Personally, seeing Abraham’s complete obedience to the Lord was inspiring. In the movie, Kelzar, Abraham’s servant, remarks that he did not try to earn favor from worldly things but from God alone. He continued to be faithful to the Lord, even when it required sacrificing his only son. His story impacted me and made me consider how I could be more faithful to God and how to model my life to His will.
It can be easy to feel like we will never measure up to Bible heroes like Abraham. However, despite his impressive obedience, it is important to remember that Abraham was still a fallen man. He had many moments of weakness, such as when he lied to the king of Egypt about his wife (Gen. 12). His mistakes are not intended to discourage us but instead to highlight the beauty of God’s love for us. I realized that we need to behold the promise maker instead of the promise, and focus more on the Lord than on what we have on earth.
To further emphasize this point, Paul wrote in Philippians 2:10-11 that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” The Lord is worthy of all praise and of all obedience. As the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He deserves our worship and for us to return His love. Thus, I encourage you all to finish your semester strong and remember that the Lord is faithful to walk beside you, that His son is victorious, and that the Lord is to be glorified above all else.
I invite you to watch His Only Son for yourself and participate in the historic Pay It Forward action that Angel Studios is doing. The opportunity to both pay for someone else’s ticket and crowdfund for the making of a sequel is something that has never been done before. Through this, the making of the next Old Testament film, following the story of Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, can begin.