By: Tonya Parrott
22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 2 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.” 3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5 He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 8 Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. 9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “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.” 13 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. 14 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.”
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” 19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
It took a total of 25 years for Abraham’s promise to become a father to his own son to be fulfilled. Imagine Abraham’s joy of finally seeing the promise of having a son of his own come to pass and the sadness and confusion he must have felt when God told him to go kill him as a sacrifice! But Abraham trusted God and was faithful. He did not withhold his son from God, his promise, his most loved possession. He placed him on the alter, proving that his trust was in God. Because of Abraham’s faith, he received back his son. Abraham’s promise to become a father of many nations was also fulfilled throughout history.
Sound a little familiar? This is exactly what God did for us when He sent Jesus to become the sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. Isaac is represented here as a type and shadow of Jesus Christ, the promised Lamb that was to come. Abraham is represented as the Father, God. The two servants represent the two disciples who fell asleep in Matthew 26:40, as Jesus talked with God, before being taken to be sacrificed.
We see Abraham himself carried the fire and knife. The fire is prophetic of the provision by God of the Holy Spirit, which we under the New Covenant receive through baptism and become a new creature in Christ (Acts 2:38, II Corinthians 5:17). The knife is prophetic of the circumcision of the heart that is performed on all who are ‘in Christ.’ Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. (This is done by means of baptism. See Acts 19, especially; but also Galatians 3:27 and Romans 6:4 and the article titled Baptism: The Work of the Deity (Trinity) for more on this).
The donkey that Isaac rode is prophetic of Christ’s triumphal entry in Matthew 21. The sacrifice was on the third day, the wood being the cross. The whole thing is a play by play of the steps Christ was to take for us.
We see in Genesis 22:11 (above), the angel of the Lord calling to Abraham from heaven two times. This is symbolic of Christ’s future fulfillment of the First and Second Covenants.
Daniel 9:22-23 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill— 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.22 He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.
Daniel 10:11-13 He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.
We see in the verses above that Gabriel (with Michael’s help) intercedes for God’s people in response to Daniel’s prayer. This is prophetic of the two calls from heaven, one for the Old Covenant and one for the New Covenant.
The ram caught by its horns in the bushes is a prophetic type and shadow of Abaddon (See Revelation 9:11) This is the ‘bait and switch,’ if you will, that was intended for us but because of Christ’s sacrifice, will be poured out on the (evil) ruler instead. The details of this are found in:
Daniel 9:25-27 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
The wrath of God is instead poured out on the (evil) ruler at the end of the seventy ‘sevens.’ This is followed by Genesis 17-18, which illustrate the 1000 year reign of Christ which is to come for all those Christ has redeemed.