By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11.8-10
What city in this world has a foundation, whose builder and maker is God Himself? Is it Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, New York, Los Angeles?
No, a thousand times no! Men designed and built all of these cities, and their foundation is made up of sand.
The city that has these characteristics is the New Jerusalem. And Abraham became the Father of Faith not because of the material sacrifices he placed on the Altar, or because he offered his own son, but because he was certainly called to be a resident of this city. He obeyed and made the difference among the people of his time, not only because of his material achievements, but his behavior and conduct of Faith.
Abraham lived in sacrifice because his desire was to live in this city. To be a resident of New Jerusalem, he gave up everything, and this went on for many years, even before Jesus said: If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16.24
Abraham did this because he was aware that the offerings he gave, no matter how big they were, were not more than the Altar. But the Altar is what sanctifies the offerings.
It is not the offering (life) or anything else that is placed on the Altar that sanctifies it; it’s the Altar that sanctifies the offerings.
This is why our God, through the prophet Isaiah, suggests:
Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone and blessed him and increased him. Isaiah 51.2