The story of Abraham’s (almost) sacrifice of his son Isaac is one of those awe inspiring faith builders that initially inspired me to write the blog series “Old and New Testament Parallels, Symbols, and Ponderings.” If you’ve questioned whether or not the Bible is truly the Word of God or wondered about the relevance of the Old Testament to your own life, I hope this story will show some links between the two testaments.
- Abraham and Isaac: God promised Abraham’s family line would be more numerous than the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:4-5 and 21:12). This promise was fulfilled through Isaac many years later after almost a lifetime of anticipation.
- Jesus: The long awaited promise of the coming of Isaac can be paralleled with Old Testament prophecies of the anticipated coming of the Messiah. For example: the prophecies in Isaiah were written more than 500 years before Christ’s birth (Isaiah 43 and many other references).
- Abraham and Isaac: The Bible says Sarah laughed when she realized she was pregnant at the age of 90. Abraham was 100 years old. Abraham and Sarah were too old to have children naturally; therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude the birth of Isaac was miraculous. Amazingly, Abraham and Sarah had several more children after Isaac’s birth!
- Jesus: Mary, who was a virgin, became pregnant with Jesus (Luke 1:34-38).
- Abraham and Isaac: Abraham was told to sacrifice Isaac, his only son whom he loved.
- Isaac was a direct ancestor to Jesus.
- Abraham also had a son named “Ishmael”, but out of impatience with God, he was born to the servant named Hagar. Therefore, Ishmael was not part of the line of Jesus; however, God blessed Ishmael’s family line because he was also Abraham’s son (Genesis 21:14; 22:2).
- Jesus: Father God called Jesus His only beloved Son (Matthew 17:5).
- Abraham and Isaac: Isaac was offered as a burnt sacrifice (Genesis 22:2).
- Jesus: Jesus was offered as the sacrifice to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).
- Abraham and Isaac: Abraham sacrificed Isaac in the land of Moriah which later became Jerusalem (Genesis 22:2 and What is the Significance of Mount Moriah in the Bible?).
- Jesus: Jesus was crucified on the hill called “Golgotha” outside of Jerusalem (Where/What is Golgotha/Calvary).
- Abraham and Isaac: In addition to Isaac, Abraham took two men with him to Moriah (Genesis 22:3).
- Jesus: Jesus was sacrificed beside two thieves (John 19:18).
- Abraham and Isaac: Isaac carried the wood to be used for the burn offering (Genesis 22:6).
- Jesus: Jesus carried a wooden cross.
- Abraham and Isaac: Abraham bound Isaac and laid him upon the wood (Genesis 22:9).
- Jesus: Jesus was nailed to the wooden cross (John 19:17).
- Abraham and Isaac: Isaac knew his father was going to offer him as a sacrifice, but he willingly went to the place of his death (Genesis 22:7-8).
- Jesus: Jesus could have freed Himself or called down the angels to rescue Him. He was God after all! Instead, He willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins (John 12:23-24).
- “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)
- Abraham and Isaac: Isaac was offered as a sacrifice at the end of a three day journey to the mountain in Moriah. He was essentially dead to Abraham the moment God commanded him to sacrifice his son. But because of God’s promise to make Isaac’s family line more numerous than the stars, Abraham trusted God would raise his son from the dead if he was sacrificed (Hebrews 11:17-19).
- Instead of allowing Abraham to sacrifice his son, God provided a ram as a sacrificial substitute. The ram redeemed Isaac, essentially bringing him back from death (resurrection from physical death).
- Although Abraham told Isaac that God would provide the lamb, a ram is given by God as a sacrifice. Did Abraham have it wrong? No. The use of the word “lamb” foretold the story of Christ who would become the “Lamb” according to John 8:56 which states: “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”
- Jesus: Jesus was dead for three days and on the third day He resurrected, eventually returning back to His Father. Jesus was the Lamb who was sacrificed as the substitute for our sins and redeemed us from spiritual death (Matthew 12:40, Matthew 17:23, and Acts 10:40).
The comparison above was first mentioned to me by a good friend of mine who is an amazing teacher of Biblical truths. She taught me how to look for parallels between the Old and New Testament. As a result, this type of research has greatly strengthened and reinforced my faith and ignited a passion for studying the Word. Thank goodness for wonderful friends who help us grow!
I hope this comparison and the “Old and New Testament Parallels, Symbols, and Ponderings” series will ignite the same passion for you!