Before answering why a ram was sacrificed, let’s lay some groundwork.
The Bible is a book of progressive revelation. Beginning in Genesis 3, God began to reveal His plan of redemption that would come thousands of years later through a promised seed (Gen 3:15), God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians, we understand that everything in the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, including what the Jews call the “binding of Isaac,” described in Genesis 22. This is the account of Abraham being instructed by God to take his son, Isaac, up to the highest mount, Mount Moriah, to be offered as a sacrifice.
Then [the Lord] said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and 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.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And [the Lord] said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
Why a Ram Instead of a Lamb?
We know that Jesus came as the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). We also know that Jesus was our Passover Lamb, sacrificed for us (1 Cor 5:7). So why wouldn’t God have provided a lamb rather than a ram? The answer is really quite simple:
- Young sheep are lambs.
- Adult female sheep are ewes.
- Castrated male sheep are wethers, and
- Intact (not castrated) adult male sheep are rams.
While the Passover sacrifices were young sheep (lambs), and they were perfect and without blemish, Jesus was an adult who had lived his life in perfect obedience and was therefore without any sin, perfect in every way. That made Jesus able to take on our sins and make the sacrificial payment for the sins of the world. His love made Him willing to do so.
With that understanding, God providing a ram on Mt. Moriah, as a substitute for Isaac, more closely pre-figured Jesus being offered on Mt. Calvary as a substitute for us.
- What is Lent? Should I Give Up Something? (video)
- Lent: 40 Titles for 40 Days (download our "40 Titles" for Lenten devotions)
- This Time Called Lent (video)
- Prepare for Lent (video)
- How Should You Observe Lent? article
- How Should You Observe Lent? (video)
About Holy Week
- Why Was a Ram Sacrificed in Genesis 22 Instead of a Lamb?
Blessed is the King -- A Palm Sunday video
- Hosanna -- Palm Sunday (Jesus Wept) (video)
- Walking with Jesus – Tested by the Chief Priests and Elders
- What is Maundy Thursday? The Basin & The Towel
- Maundy Thursday until Easter Sunday (video)
- What’s your Judas experience? The Pain of Betrayal
- What Do We Know about Judas? This Might Surprise You.
- Was Jesus crucified on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday?
- Thursday Crucifixion? Do these two reasons “nail” it?
- Why do we call it good [Friday]?
- Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
- How is Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the Crimson Worm? A Remez In Psalm 22?
- Who do you need to reconcile with today?
- Who Killed Jesus?
- Since Jesus was the Passover LAMB, Why Didn't God Provide a Lamb in Genesis 22?
- Did Pilate Proclaim Jesus to be God?
- Was Jesus Forsaken by His Father?
- The centurion's song from the foot of the cross: “Surely This Was a Righteous Man”
- Sadness and Despair: The Darkest Days of All Time
- Journey to the Cross: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
- The Days of Darkness
- Obituary of Jesus: Body Stolen or Risen? What do you say?
About Easter and Resurrection Life
- Because He Lives, I Can Face Tomorrow (video)
- Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Alleluia (video)
- A Place in the Sun (Son) (video)
- You'll Never Walk Alone (video)
- How to Close Your Eyes and Really SEE Jesus!
- Open Your Eyes to The Full Gospel
- Are you glad to see Jesus?
- Ponder the Prophecies of Jesus’ Mission (video and downloadable file)
- What If We Skipped Easter This Year?
- He’s back….and it changed everything!
- The Lord is Risen Indeed! Hallelujah!
- Because He Rose: The resurrection changed everything! (video)
- What’s the Meaning of the Folded Napkin in the tomb?
- Keep Easter Alive in Your Heart: He Came Back (video)
- The Only Soul-Saver, Sin-Forgiver, Chain-Breaker, Pain-Taker, Way-Maker, Hope-Giver: Jesus
- Keep Looking Up
- Praise God, He’s Alive
- Christian Internet Forwards? The Rest of “The Birdcage” Story?(video)
- Ways to Glorify God - Bookmark
Watch NOW...You will be blessed.
If you do NOT know Jesus, click here NOW!
Jesus is the Reason this Ministry Exists
Our mission is to glorify God by equipping, encouraging, and empowering
YOU to understand the Bible and grow in faith. If our online resources have blessed you, we hope you will support Reasons for Hope* Jesus. Our ministry outreach has grown significantly and we need your help to continue. Please support Reasons for Hope* Jesus with a donation of $5, $10, $20, or more. A donation of any amount is needed and greatly appreciated.
CLICK TO DONATE
to Reasons for Hope*Jesus(a 501c3 Ministry)
Use a Credit Card or PayPal for safe, secure giving.
***A Hidden Message in Psalm 23?*** Hidden in the six verses of Psalm 23 are 11 names for Jesus. Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you The Names of God in Psalm 23 PDF that reveals all 11 names and Scripture verses of comfort and hope (link will be sent in your confirmation email). SUBSCRIBE NOW
Be Ready Always...to give a reason for your Hope. (1 Pet 3:15)
When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace. SHARE THE GOSPEL NOW!
The Top Ten in 2019
- The Meaning of NUMBERS in the Bible?
- The Meaning of COLORS in the Bible?
- Is my TATTOO a sin?
- What do the 12 stones UNDER the JORDAN River mean? (Joshua 4)
- What Does It Mean to TASTE & SEE That God Is Good? (Psalm 34)
- CHARLIE BROWN Theology
- Did The Wise Men Arrive 12 DAYS AFTER JESUS’ BIRTH? Or Was It Much Later?
- Where did OT Saints go at death? ABRAHAM'S BOSOM? Where was that?
- Is Leonard Cohen’s “HALLELUJAH” a Christian Song?
- Is It a Sin to Drink ALCOHOL?
More Popular Questions & Articles:
If BAPTIZED as an Infant, Do I Need to Be Baptized Again?
How was Jesus Like a Worm? What’s the CRIMSON (OR SCARLET) WORM? Psalm 22
Is Satan’s Real Name LUCIFER? Or Should We Call Him Satan?
What is the Significance of the Wise Men's THREE GIFTS? And were they kings?
Was Jesus CRUCIFIED on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday?
The Names of Jehovah hidden in Psalm 23! This will surprise you!
What Did Jesus Say About HEAVEN (and HELL)?
JESUS WEPT. Why? And…it’s not the shortest verse in the Bible!
Is There a Remez (HIDDEN MESSAGE ) in Revelation 7? Why is Dan Missing?
What Does it Mean to Be A CHILD OF GOD?
Why Is PRAYER Important?
Is SUICIDE an Unforgivable Sin?
Something ALL Christians must know: IVDARR