“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” (Hebrews 11:17-19)
The story of Abraham and Isaac is ultimately not about Isaac. It points to the Seed of Isaac, Jesus Christ.
Centuries before Christ’s birth, God orchestrated countless events to inform us about His Son. Isaac’s hilltop experience was no exception. Isaac’s conformity foreshadowed Jesus’ obedience.
Approach these paragraphs with an open Bible and an open mind. Memorize the details surrounding Isaac’s “death” and compare it with Christ’s crucifixion.
2,054 B.C. (Before Christ)
Father Abraham instructed his only son, Isaac, to tote timber up a hill. Later, he’d lie down on the rugged wood to give his life. Like a sheep before the slaughter, He uttered no word. Isaac executed the plan. Although strong enough to overthrow his 120-year-old father, Isaac submitted to his will. Seconds before Abraham would’ve thrust the knife into his young son’s heart, the Angel of the LORD stopped him:
“‘Abraham! Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. ‘Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’ Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.’” (Genesis 22:11-14)
God provided a substitute—a male lamb. So, in a manner of speaking, Father Abraham received his son back from the dead.
Father God orchestrated this story (Genesis 22:1-2). He sought to paint a picture of what was going to happen to His Son two millennia later.
Father God asked His Only Son, Jesus, to lug wood up a hill. Later, He’d lie down on the rugged cross to give His life. Like a sheep before the slaughter, He spoke no word. Jesus executed God’s deliberate plan (Acts 2:22-24). Although powerful enough to resist the Ancient of Days, Jesus yielded to His Father’s will. But where the blade stopped with Isaac, it didn’t stop with Jesus. There, on the hill where the LORD provided, God’s Son gave His life for us. Jesus is the Lamb of God, the Substitute, the greater Isaac.
Ponder this—God told Abraham to sacrifice his son. Not a bull. Not a lamb. His only son. In other words, his very best. The first sign of his strength. Abraham’s “Laughter” (Isaac’s name means “He laughs.”). Yahweh tested Abraham to see if he was willing to worship with his very best. Did he cherish God enough to sacrifice his Laughter? Do we?
What was the disposition of God’s heart toward sacrificing His Son? We can catch a shadow of it in Genesis 22:2, which reads, “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’” God could’ve simply said, “Take Isaac”, but no. Behold the lengthy details. “Take your son, your only son, whom you love…” Yahweh designed every phrase to pierce a parent’s heart. He was making a point; This is how He, the greater Abraham, feels about His Only Son. He loves His Son. Jesus is His Very Best; His Laughter. And this is how we KNOW God truly wants the best for us—He GAVE us His Very Best, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Amen.
Written by Logan Stogner, 2022 copyright
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/rudall30
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