Hebrews 11:17-19; Genesis 22:1-14
“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:17-19).
All of the Bible is about Jesus. Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56; also see Galatians 3:8).
The Person: Isaac and Jesus
Isaac was a picture of Christ in several ways:
His miracle birth was prophesied. (See Genesis 18:11-14; Isaiah 7:14.)
His birthday was preset. (See Genesis 21:2; Galatians 4:4.)
His name was divinely given. (See Genesis 17:19; Matthew 1:21.)
He was loved by his father—and offered as a sacrifice. “…God tested Abraham, and said…‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you’” (Genesis 22:1-2). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16a).
He was raised from the dead. “Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off” (Genesis 22:4). For three days, Isaac was dead in Abraham’s mind, until he got him back.
Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised again on the third day. (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.)
The Place: Mt. Moriah and Calvary
There are two trillion known galaxies in the Universe. In one of them, God found one insignificant sun. Around that sun, God took one little planet and said, “The earth is the LORD’s” (Psalm 24:1a). Then God took Israel and called it, “My land.” God tightened the focus and called Jerusalem, “My holy city.” In that city, God called Mt. Moriah, “My holy hill.” That limestone ridge became the focal point of the Universe.
Moriah literally means “foreseen of the Lord.” It was the same place where Jesus would one day pour out His lifeblood.
The Purpose: Sacrifice
“Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘…Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering’” (Genesis 22:7-8a).
Isaac begins to know what is about to happen. He was a strapping young man, who could have outrun the old man. But he presented himself to be bound. (See Genesis 22:9.)
Jesus said, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 10:17-18a).
The Promise: Substitution
Abraham was about to make this offering. “But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said…‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God…” 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son” (Genesis 22:11-13).
Now Isaac represents us. This ram, caught by its horns in a thicket—a ram crowned with thorns—became a substitute.
Abraham had said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb.” (See Genesis 22:8.) When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming, he said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b).