Sacrifice of Isaac
Last night in 10 minutes I went over the sacrifice of Isaac found in Genesis 22. I noticed a lot of strange looks when I offered up an interpretation. This morning I realized had I said what I'm about to say it will be a little clearer.
It was mentioned that one cannot look at the sacrifice of Isaac without seeing Jesus within the story. Especially when you get to verse 7 and 8 when Isaac asks, "The fire and wood are here but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham replies back to his, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son."
He's right. God does provide the ram. In the New Testament God does provide the sacrifice, Jesus. Normally, we associate Isaac and Jesus together here but Abraham is spared from sacrificing his son Isaac. Isaac isn't sacrificed. God does not spare Jesus (Romans 8:32). He is offered as an atonement for our sins. 1 John 2:2 "He (Jesus) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."
Isaac is spared. Jesus becomes the atoning sacrifice. Therefore, Isaac represents us. We are spared from death and given a new life. A New Testament person who would understand this more than anyone would be Barabbas. Frederick Buechner writes, "Pilate told the people that they could choose to spare the life of either a murderer named Barabbas or Jesus of Nazareth, and they chose Barabbas." Barabbas was spared. Jesus took his place. Barabbas was given a new chance of life.
It was unsuspecting that Jesus the Messiah would take anyone's place. If Jesus was the Messiah why would he die for anyone? A Messiah should fight instead. The ram was there caught in a thicket.
The Good News as Frederick Buechner writes, "Given the same choice, Jesus, of course, would have chosen to spare Barabbas too." He took our place. We should be eternally grateful just as Isaac was grateful that he was spared and the ram took his place.
I asked the question, "what happened to Isaac in the latter part of Genesis 22?" It doesn't say he came down with his father and met the servants. I'll address this in another post hopefully next week.
The picture is from the Good News Bible. It has haunted me for years and continues to haunt me.