Ram in the Thicket

At the British Museum is displayed an ancient object called the Ram in the Thicket. It looks more like a goat in a tree, however, and it dates about 600 years before Abraham. I suspect that Victorian curators wished to increase the object’s popularity by associating it with the famous episode on Mount Moriah when the great patriarch, about to sacrifice his only son, was relieved to find a substitute:

And Abraham lifted up his eyes and he looked and beheld a ram behind him caught fast in a thicket by its horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and went up to make a whole burnt offering of it instead of his son. Genesis 22:13

Don’t let people fob you off at this time of year. Christ’s incarnation has little to do with family time, gratititde for the nice things we own or an alternative, more pious attitude to greed and consumerism. The incarnation is chiefly about providing Abraham’s folk with a substitute- His life for theirs.