Summary: God shared the pathos of His sacrifice of Jesus through having Abraham sacrifice Isaac. Two storytellers are needed: [#1] will tell the story of Abraham and Isaac, and [#2] will tell the story of God the Father and Jesus.
[#1] Genesis 22:1-2
This is a story of a Father, Son, and sacrifice.
Usually we understand this chapter in terms of testing, faith, obedience, commitment, surrender, substitutionary sacrifice, The Lord Will Provide. It’s all in there.
[#2] It also foreshadows another Father, another Son, another sacrifice on that same mountain.
[#1] But the story includes certain seemingly unnecessary details and repetitions, which hints there is a deeper dimension we may have missed. Let us take a journey this morning with Father and Son.
Genesis 22:2 Verse two could have read simply, “Offer Isaac as a burnt offering.”
Abraham had two sons at this point, Ishmael and Isaac. How was Isaac his only son?
Hebrews 11:17 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.”
The Greek word translated ‘Only-begotten” is Monogenace, means one-of-a-kind. Unique. Irreplaceable.
Isaac was irreplaceable because he was the promised son.
[#2] John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son…
[#1] Two other facts in passing about Isaac
Isaac was named by God before birth
Genesis 17:19 Then God said, “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Issac; I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant…
[#2] Matthew 1:21 And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for he will save His people from their sins.
[#1] Isaac was miraculously conceived
Genesis 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.
[#2] Luke 1:34 The Mary said to the angel, “how can this be, since I do not know a man?
[#1] Genesis 22:2 "whom you love…"
First time the word ‘love’ is used in the Bible
Especially in the book of Genesis, pay attention to the first use of a word or concept, because it usually contains the definition.
The word ‘love’ could have been used for Adam and Eve, even Abraham and Sarah. Here, in its first use, it describes the relationship between father and son.
[#2] Luke 3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him (Jesus), and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son
[#1] Genesis 22:2 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. Where is Moriah?
II Chronicles 3:1 Now Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah…
Not just the future site of Jerusalem, but the future site of the temple at Jerusalem.
Offer him there as a burnt offering
“ascending offering”, completely burned up. For many of the offerings, there were portions reserved for the priests or the worshipper. But for the burnt offering, there was nothing left.
Genesis 22:1 God tested Abraham
It would be hard to image a test more severe than this.
Eleanor Roosevelt noted,” It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself”
Was this fair of God?
Genesis 22:3 split the wood
I’ve pondered a lot on this detail
If you’ve ever split wood with an axe, you know that it is good therapy, a physical way to process some issue in your life.
Abraham had to think ahead to what would be needed, and prepare.
No excuse or delay to gather wood when they got to the place of sacrifice
He’d offered burnt offerings before, a yearling lamb, which typically weighs about 120 to 135 pounds.
He knew how much wood was needed for a lamb. But how much would be he need for his son? (Pause)
Three days to think about it. One can only imagine his dread of that event, and yet his courage to meet the divine necessity.
And note that this is the first occurrence in the Bible of the word “worship”
[#2] Luke 9:51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.
[#1] Genesis 22:6… laid it on Isaac his son.
Are we clear yet on the relationship between Abraham and Isaac? They are father and son. Why this repetition?
Did Isaac pick up the wood by himself? No, Abraham laid it on him.
This is a father/son thing. They were in this together.
What did Abraham carry?
Just the fire and a knife.
Which was harder to carry, the wood, or the knife? (Pause)