Abraham and Issac Rembrandt van Rijn, 1634

Many people know the story of Abraham and Isaac, and how God tested Abraham’s faith in the potential sacrifice of Isaac, his son.  However, how many know the parallel’s of Isaac to Jesus Christ?

We should (as Christians) not be surprised at this prophecy in flesh, as the entire Old Testament is but a prophecy of Jesus Christ.  The Jewish nation is an example for all nations to show that you cannot live by the Law, as all have sinned (I did not know sin except through the law).

Thus, the entire Bible is a story of continual falling away, redemption, then falling away, until God, like Abraham would’ve done, sacrifices His Son once, as a redemption for all.

How unknowable the height’s of His love for us!  I think of all the evil thoughts I have had and am in awe that even through that He loves me and wants only the best for me.

I hope to show more prophecies of Christ in future postings, but here is the parallels that foretold the coming of Christ, seen in Isaac:

1.  The covenant between God and Abraham would pass through the seed (generations) of Isaac, and not Ishmael (Christ came through the line of Isaac) (Gen 17:19, 21) Also, the miraculous conception (Sarai had past the point of child-bearing, Gen 18.11)

2. Birth pronounced before it happens (Gen 18.10)

3. Sex of child is foretold (Gen 18.14)

4. Name given by God to the child to come (Gen 17.19)

5. Born under the Law (circumcised on the 8th day) (Gen 21.4)

6. Isaac was his only son (of Sarai) and was beloved (Gen 22.2)

7. Abraham lays the burden of the wood upon Isaac, who then bears theburden he will be sacrificed on (the wood of the altar) Gen 22.6

8. Isaac’s father will willingly sacrifice his only beloved son (Gen 22.10)(Gen 22.12)

God prevents Abraham from commiting the sacrifice, as God abhors human sacrifice of any kind (This is what would cause the destruction of the peoples of Canaan when the Israelites are entering).  God was TESTING Abraham, to see if he would believe and trust God (Faith), that even though he promised him his seed would be the heir (Isaac) of the promise by God, that he would believe and trust him and sacrifice his son.  Once Abraham passed the test, God stopped him.

As to whether people today believe God was merciless or cruel in doing this, please consider that God Himself, would offer up his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who entered this world through the seed of Isaac, as the last blood sacrifice to rid the world of sin forever.  That Son would be the perfect, unblemished lamb of God, who would take on all the sin’s of the world and all the agony it entailed, and be tortured and hung on a tree, ending once and for all the requirement of a blood sacrifice for the remission of sin.

9. Prophecy of the coming of Christ as the lamb for the offering (Gen 22.8) – note that Abraham says God will provide the lamb for the offering, but a ram is eventually provided, thus delaying the final offering of the lamb (Jesus) until much later when God does all these things by His hand.  The interim period will be the Law, which shows how no one can approach God because the Law means death (i.e., no one can live to the letter of the law and needs an interceder)
10. Isaac innocently/willingly goes to the sacrifice (Gen 22.9).

Scofield Bible – Isaac is a protype of Christ (Abraham gave his only son as a sacrifice, based on faith in God).  Isaac, who was ready to go to his death willingly.  Isaac, the seed of promise as the future generations promised by God, just as Jesus is the one through whom all who will be saved must come.  The ram would be the substitute, and Jesus was the substitute for eternity of the annual sacrifice for atonement of sins.

11. On the 3rd day, Isaac returns from the dead (is spared from the burnt offering) (Gen 22.4, Gen 22.12)

As you can see, in testing Abraham, God showed the world that Abraham was worthy for the blessing’s he and his descendant’s would inherit. Also, it is a prophecy of what God would do when he was ready to make final reconciliation with humanity. Remember that in the Bible, it is shown that only a blood sacrifice will atone and that blood is the life. From the time of the Law until Jesus Crucifixion, there was an annual blood sacrifice for the atonement of sins of the Jewish people, whereby the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies alone, to atone for the sin’s of the people (Hebrews 9:6-15).  God will reconcile man once and for all with the sacrifice of Jesus, his only beloved son. God did not ask Abraham to do anything he would not do himself…Praise God for His unknowable love and care for us…