Key Verse: “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.” Genesis 22:2
As Jesus explained what Scripture taught about himself, I am sure he remind the two disciples of Isaac. There are many similarities between Jesus and Isaac. Both their births were promised many years before their fulfillment, and both were named before they were born (Genesis 17:19 & Matthew 1:21). Both are called the “son of Abraham” (see Genesis 21:3; 22:2; Matthew 1:1). The similarities increase when we examine Genesis 22 where God tested Abraham. Genesis 22:2, “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.”
Both Isaac and Jesus were offered by their fathers in sacrifice. Both traveled to the area by donkey. Both carried the wood on their back up a hill to the place of sacrifice. In Genesis 22 the ram was caught it the thorns, and on the cross, the Lamb of God, Jesus wore a crown of thorns. Both sons were “resurrected” or “given back” their fathers on the third day, one figuratively and one literal (Genesis 22:4 & Matthew 16:21; 17:23; 20). In Genesis 22, God provided the Ram as a substitute. On the Cross, Jesus was our substitute. He took the punishment we deserved.
We can only imagine how heartbroken Abraham must have felt when God told him to sacrifice his beloved son. Even the idea makes any parent shudder. Not only did he love his son but God was asking Him to do something that appeared to invalidate God’s promise that through him the promised nation would come and his descendants as many as the stars in the sky. It could not have made sense to Abraham, but he trusted God anyway and responded in obedience.
John Owen wrote: “Sometimes, through God’s providence, there may appear to be inconsistency between God’s commands and his promises. Nothing but faith bowing the soul to divine sovereignty can reconcile this.” True faith, like Abraham’s, believes that God can do the impossible.”
Isaac’s response is equally amazing. Despite his circumstances, he trusted his father completely. If his father said that God would provide, that was enough. Hebrews 11:19 says, “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”
Do we model his sort of obedience even when things don’t make sense to us? As with Isaac, God’s command that Jesus must die (Isaiah 53) seems at first glance to be inconsistent with His promise that Jesus would rule the earth (Zech. 9:10). In both cases, we witness God is entirely consistent with His Word and his plans are bigger than our perspective.