We’ve studied Genesis 22. And in typology, the events of that chapter give a picture of the cross. We see the father, who loves his only son. He is willing to lay his son on the altar and sacrifice him as a burnt offering — an offering for the atonement of sin. (Read: The Akedah: God’s Testing of Abraham’s Faith and Obedience)
The Jews call this event “the binding of Isaac” Isaac was bound and laid on the altar. But God intervened and Isaac was spared. However, almost 2,000 years later, God would put His only Son on the altar and the sacrifice would be finished.
Isaac As a Type of Christ
The binding of Isaac has a great deal of typology that points to the sacrifice of Jesus. Isaac is one of the clearest types of Christ in the Bible. His person and his life whisper of the true and better Son of the Father who would pay the ultimate price for the sins of the world.
Typology of Isaac that Points to Jesus
*Both were promised sons.
Isaac was the son promised to Abraham (Gen 12:3). And Jesus was the promised Son of Man and the Son of God to the world (Gen 3:15; 13:3, John 1:1-12)
*Both were only sons of their fathers.
Isaac was Abraham’s “only begotten son” (Heb 11:17). And Jesus is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, John 3:16).
*Both were loved by their fathers. (Gen 22:2; Matt 3:16, 17)
*Both had a miraculous conception and birth.
Isaac was conceived by parents who were very old. He was born of a woman who was beyond child-bearing age (Gen 18:13). Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit who is eternal. And He was born of a virgin, Mary (Luke 1:34-35).
*Both had their conception and birth fortold/prophesied. (Gen 18:10, Luke 1:30–31)
Gen 18:10 And God said…Sarah thy wife shall have a son.
Luke 1:3031 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary…thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
*Both were given names by God before being born (Gen 17:19, Matt 1:21).
Isaac means laughter. Jesus means Jehovah Saves or God is Salvation.
*Both were persecuted by their own kin. (Gen 21:9, Mark 15:29–32, John 1:11)
*Both were chosen for sacrificial death, (Gen 22:2, Luke 23:41)
Isaac was offered by Abraham on a wooden altar. And Jesus was offered by God on a wooden cross.
*Both had a three-day experience.
Isaac journeyed three days to Mt. Moriah. And Jesus spent three days in the heart of the earth.
*Both were accompanied by two men.
Isaac was accompanied by two servants (Gen 22:3). And Jesus was crucified between two thieves (Matt 27:38)
*Both carried their own wood.
Isaac carried the wood for the burnt offering (Gen 22:6). And Jesus carried the crossbeam of his cross (John 19:17).
*Both were surrendered to the will of their father.
Isaac was surrendered to the will of Abraham (Genesis 22:9). And Jesus was surrendered to God the Father’s will. (Luke 22:42, Romans 5:8).
*Both asked their father a question.
Isaac asked Abraham “Here is the fire and the wood, Father, but where is the lamb? (Gen. 22:7). And Jeus cried to His Father, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” from the cross (Matt 27:46).
*Both were resurrected.
Isaac was raised from the altar of death when God provided a substitute (Gen 22:12). And Jesus died, as a substitute for us, and was raised from the grave (Mat 28:6-7).
The parallels are many and the whisper is really more of a shout. The life of Isaac points to Jesus, our Glorious Saviour.
- God provided a ram as a substitute for Isaac to be the burnt offering (Read: Why Was a Ram Sacrificed in Genesis 22 Instead of a Lamb?
- A burnt offering is an offering made as an atonement (forgiveness/correction) of sin.
- The ONLY suitable offering for our sin would be a LAMB that God Himself would provide and that Lamb TOOK our place on the cross of judgment. That Lamb was a substitute for you and for me, just as the ram God supplied to take Isaac’s place on the altar. He paid the penalty for the sins of the world that through Him the world might be saved (John 3:17).
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