An audio file of the sermon from October 23 is available at this link.
“At the last possible moment, when Abraham has raised the knife, finally God’s messenger stops it. The Dutch artist Rembrandt thought long and hard about how to paint this moment, because it’s so fraught with emotional power. He made many line drawings to study how to paint it. I remember vividly seeing one in an art museum as a college student. It was one of Rembrandt’s throw-aways, but even so the dramatic motion of the angel reaching to stop Abraham’s arm was vivid. In the final version of the painting, the angel has hold of Abraham’s wrist, and the knife is in mid-air, falling to the ground.”