Why Did God Ask Abraham To Sacrifice Isaac?
A Foreshadow Of Jesus's Death On A Cross
Both Jesus and Isaac were promised children, miraculously conceived
In their respective accounts, both Jesus and Isaac were promised children, miraculously conceived gifts from God. This is relevant because few figures share this property, and it is central to both Jesus and Isaac.
Jesus miraculously conceived:
• Luke 1:30-35 -- The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. … Mary said to the angel, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” The angel answered … the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and for that reason, the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
Isaac miraculously conceived:
• Genesis 18:9-10 -- [The angels] said to him, … “…behold, Sarah your wife will have a son.” … Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing. Sarah laughed to herself…
Genesis 21:1-4 -- and the Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age,… Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.
Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness by God.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Similarities between the Jesus and Isaac
Both are called their father's special “only son”
Both are to be sacrificed by their loving father
Both are to be sacrificed in the same place (Moriah)
Both are to be a sacrificial lamb to God (on wood)
Both carry their own wood up on their back to die on
Both voluntarily submitted to their being sacrificed
Both narratives conclude: God will provide
Both fathers anticipated their son's resurrection
The BIG Difference
Jesus Christ, the Son Of God, died on a Roman Cross, conquering death, providing eternal life for those who would believe.
• John 3:16 -- “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
• Romans 8:32 -- He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over
• Romans 5:10 -- we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son
• 1 John 4:9-10 -- God sent his only Son … he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our
Issac did not die on the altar. God provided a substitute. After the ram was sacrificed he returned to his family, sharing the faithfulness of God and his Earthly father, Abraham.
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. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“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.”
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar?
Make much of Jesus today as he has done it all, thus to him in all we owe.