Summary: A look at Isaac as a type of the Christ and some lessons we can learn.
Jesus In Genesis: the Sacrifice of Isaac Heb 11:17-19
INTRO.: Tell the story from Genesis 22. This is a very mysterious story. How could God order a man to offer his son as a sacrifice, and why? What terrible emotional stresses were involved? How could Abraham even think of carrying out God’s instructions? It is hard for us to answer such questions from thousands of years in the past.
But, the story does have meaning and purpose and some things we can understand. Let’s consider those:
I. Isaac was, in many ways, an OT picture of Jesus:
A. Each had a miraculous birth.
1. “Only begotten.” used of Isaac as well as of Jesus.
2. In Isaac’s case, means only begotten of Sarah, wife thru whom the child of promise will come.
3. By this time, he was the only child Abraham had left with him. Gen. 25:5, 6
4. Jesus was the only begotten of God. John 3:16
B. Each was named by God Himself:
1. “Isaac” means laughter. Gen. 17:16-19. Because Abraham laughed.
2. As did Sarah. Gen. 18:12-15
3. Jesus was named before His birth. Isa. 7:14.
4. “You are to give Him the name Jesus.” Matt. 1:21
C. Both were persecuted by their contemporaries.
1. Gen. 21:8, 9: Isaac was mocked by his older half-brother, causing a family crisis.
2. Gal. 4:29 - Ishmael persecuted Isaac.
3. In Jesus’ case, John 1:11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
4. He was constantly persecuted by Jewish leaders until they finally killed Him.
D. Both were offered in sacrifice. Consider the details:
1. Both fathers gave their “only son.”
2. Both men carried the wood on which they would be consumed.
3. The location of both sacrifices was approximately the same. II Chron. 3:1
4. Each voluntarily allowed himself to be sacrificed.
5. Gen. 22:4 - “on the third day” Abraham received his son back from the dead. Christ arose on the third day.
6. As the ram substituted for Isaac, Christ is a substitute for us. John 6:51
II. What we can learn:
A. Give God your best, even your sons and daughters.
1. Abraham was not called upon to give a cow, goat, or lamb, but his pride and joy.
2. Further, it was the son upon whom the promises of God rested. His dreams of future blessing for his family and nation were tied up in this son.
3. He wants our best, and He doesn’t want it burned on an altar, but raised to serve Him.
4. We need to raise our children to serve God and man, not just to make money, or serve self.
B. What we give to God will never be lost.
1. ILLUS.: I knew a lady who raised her children to serve self. When she was old they put her in a nursing home and never came to see her.
2. If we raise our children for God, they will be true to us and we will spend eternity together.
3. Mark 10:29, 30 - the promise of Jesus.
C. Have faith in the resurrection.
1. It was belief in the resurrection that allowed Abraham to offer his son.
2. He believed even though we have no record of a resurrection up to his time.
3. He figuratively received his son back from the dead.
4. We have proof of Jesus’ resurrection in the Word. We know He raised others. Surely we can believe easier than Abraham could.
5. Belief in the resurrection gives hope for a glorious future and provides a foundation for the Christian life. II Cor. 15:58
CONC.: God has offered a substitute sacrifice for us. Just as Isaac was under sentence of death, so are we. We have all sinned and death is the penalty for sin.
But, just as a ram was found to substitute for Isaac, Jesus, the Lamb of God, has given His life a substitute for ours. If we accept His sacrifice as our own and surrender our lives to Him in grateful service, our sins will be forgiven and we will live forever.