Brief Description of Station 10 and the reason why the secondary images are included
Station 10 – Crucified/charges posted (Matt 27:33-37; Mk 15:22-32; Lk 23:32-33, 38; Jn 19:18-22)
a. Abraham offering up Isaac (Genesis 22:9-18)
b. Brazen Serpent (Numbers 21:4-9)
Reason – Abraham prepared to sacrifice his Son Isaac, but is stopped at the last minute by God. The Father offers us his Son Jesus, but this time the sacrifice is not stopped.
Those who looked to the bronze serpent Moses raised up were saved from the bite of the serpents, so those who look to Christ who was raised up on the pole of the cross are saved from the bit of the serpent who is the devil (Jn 3:14).
The hour had arrived for the most terrible sacrifice any father could ever be asked to make. Abraham stood and looked at his son. This was the son of promise. This was the child who would continue the line of the Messiah. To slaughter him would not only destroy the heart of Abraham, but it would destroy the hope of salvation, the promise that God loves the world and would send his only-begotten Son. Isaac looked at his father. Did he quote Job, and say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”? The writer of Hebrews assures us that Abraham believed Isaac would be resurrected (Hebrews 11:19). It seems logical that Abraham would share his faith with his son.
But, of course, Isaac was spared. An angel stopped the sacrifice. It was another example of how Abraham could obey God, trust in God, even when things didn’t make sense.
On that dark day, the first Good Friday, no one stayed the hands of those who killed Jesus. On that dark day, the Son was sacrificed. On that dark day, the heavenly Father turned his gaze away. His Son, his only-begotten Son from all eternity, suffered and died. It wasn’t simply a test of the Father’s faith, or the faith of Jesus, it was the object of the hope of all humanity, the hope of eternal life. So all who look to Jesus, discover that his death is also their death, and in that death all their sins have been paid for.
That is also the message of the Brazen serpent in Numbers. The people had sinned. God sent poisonous snakes into the camp. The people, threatened by death, repented. On the pole was raised an image of the serpents, an image of death. Those who looked to it in faith were healed. On the pole of the cross Jesus was raised, an image of death. Those who look to him in faith discover that his death means eternal life.
O Lord Jesus, your father offered you up as a sacrifice so that all who look to you might receive eternal life. May we always look to you, the author and finisher of our faith, so that we might receive the precious gift of life eternal. Amem.