Sunday, March 6, 2011

Learning and Re-learning

I have been studying about sacrifice. I have learned and re-learned so much from Genesis 22:1-14. Those are 14 of the most fantastic verses ever written.

In verse 1 God temps or from the Hebrew text he "tests or proves" Abraham and Abraham is ready to answer.

Then in verse 2 comes the most difficult trial anyone could be asked to face. Abraham is commanded to sacrifice his "only" son Issac. (My bet is he didn't tell Sarah what the Lord had asked him to do.) God will sacrifice His "Only Begotten Son." Abraham leaves Beersheba and goes about 50 miles north to Moriah where the Lord has told him to go. Why does the Lord ask a man that is more than 100 years old to travel 50 miles? Why Moriah? 2 Chr. 3:1 tells us that is where Solomon built the temple of the Lord.

Verse 3 says he saddles his donkey, cuts the wood and heads out with his son Isaac. The donkey and the wood are important. Who gets to ride the donkey? Does Abraham? Does Isaac? Who rides a donkey into the city of Jerusalem on the final week of his life? Is it by chance there is a parallel here? No, the Lord does not do anything by chance.

Verse 4 & 5 say on the third day Abraham sees the place afar off and asks the young men to stay there with the donkey while he and his son go on ahead to the place to worship.

Then in verse 6 Abraham takes the wood they have carried with them and lays it on his son. So Isaac carries the wood. This tells me he was not a young child. He is a man that is strong enough to carry enough wood for a sacrifice. He carries the wood to his place of sacrifice. Christ carried his wooden cross to his place of sacrifice also.

Isaac is beginning to wonder about this sacrifice. He asks his father. Dad you have the fire, I have the wood, where is the burnt offering?

Verse 8 Abraham tells Isaac. "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering." This is a prophetic statement. God, the Father, will provide his only begotten Son as the lamb for a burnt offering.

Then in verses 9 - 12 Abraham builds the altar and binds his son and lays him on the alter. He takes his knife to slay him and the angel of the Lord stops him. At this point we know that Isaac knows what is going on but we learn something important about Isaac. He willingly allows his father to bind him and willingly lays on the alter with a knife over him. He is willing to do what his Father has commanded. Christ willingly gives himself as a sacrifice. He willingly lays on the alter and gave his life for us. Abraham sees the last great sacrifice from our Father in Heavens perspective.

Verses 13-14. Abraham sees a ram caught in the thicket and they offer him for a burnt offering. Abraham called the name of the place "Jehovah-jireh" which means "in this mount, Jehovah shall be provided."

Note of interest. When a lamb was sacrificed it was always sacrificed on the north side of the alter. Just north of the temple mount is a hill known as Golgotha.

Abraham was obedient to God's commands in offering up his son Isaac... "which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son." (Jacob 4:5)

No comments: