Share

The Similarities Between Isaac and Jesus Sacrifice in Genesis 22

The Similarities Between Isaac and Jesus’ Sacrifice in Genesis 22

Feel free to share!

The similarities between Isaac and Jesus’ sacrifice are many. Read or listen to this chapter from A Father Offers His Son to see how Isaac is a type for Jesus in Genesis 22.

A-Father-Offers-His-Son-Author-Scott-LaPierre

The text in this post is from A Father Offers His Son: The True and Greater Sacrifice Revealed Through Abraham and Isaac, and the audio is from the accompanying audiobook. I am praying God uses the book and audiobook to exalt Christ and strengthen people’s relationships with Him!

Isaac as a type of Christ is one of the most dramatic in the Bible. The similarities between Isaac and Jesus’ sacrifice in Genesis 22 are incredible.

Isaac and Jesus Were Only Begotten Sons

The typology between Isaac and Jesus is immediately established very strongly in Genesis 22:2. The language used regarding Abraham and Isaac is almost identical to the language used in the New Testament regarding God the Father and His Son. In Genesis 22:2 God said to Abraham, “your son, your only son.” He repeated these words two more times:

  • Genesis 22:12—“And He 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.’”
  • Genesis 22:16—[The Angel of the Lord] said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son.”

“Only” Means “Special”

God does not waste words in Scripture. When He is repetitive, it is for a reason. God does not use highlighting, italics, underlining, or bold for emphasis, but He does repeat Himself when He wants to ensure we do not miss something. God wants us to recognize Isaac was, “[Abraham’s] son, [his] only son.” Abraham had another son, Ishmael, so how can God refer to Isaac as Abraham’s “only” son? The word “only” does not mean “single.” The Old Testament has three Hebrew words for “only.” Here are two of them:

  • Genesis 6:5—“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only [raq] evil continually.”
  • Genesis 7:23—“So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only [‘ak] Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.”

The Old Testament is primarily written in Hebrew (with small portions written in Aramaic), and the word for “only” in Genesis 22:2 is yachiyd, which means “unique.” It is referring to Isaac being Abraham’s special, one-of-a-kind son. The same word is translated as “precious” elsewhere in Scripture:

  • Psalm 22:20—“Deliver Me from the sword, My precious [yachiyd] life from the power of the dog.”
  • Psalm 35:17—“Rescue me from their destructions, My precious [yachiyd] life from the lions.”

The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (TWOT) says yachiyd means, “only begotten son.” This makes Isaac look like Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. “Begotten” does not mean “created.” The writers of the Nicene Creed wanted to make sure nobody misunderstood the word, so they said:

I believe… in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by Whom all things were made.

The creed teaches Jesus is eternal, and as the Son of God, is equal with God. If begotten does not mean created, what does it mean? The Greek word for “only begotten” is monogenes, and it means, “single of its kind.” Again, it means Jesus is God’s unique Son. This separates Him from believers who are sons and daughters of God by adoption, and angels who are also called “sons of God” (Genesis 6:4, Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7 cf. Hebrews 1:5-14). Monogenes only occurs nine times in Scripture:

  • Three times Luke used the word to describe parents who lost an “only” (monogenes) child (Luke 7:12, 8:42, and 9:38).
  • Five times John used the word to refer to Jesus as “the only begotten (monogenes) Son” (John 1:14, 18, 3:16, 18, 1 John 4:9).

The last use identifies the other individual in Scripture given the same title as Jesus:

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac… His only begotten (monogenes) son.

Hebrews 11:17

God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, instead of Ishmael, because He wanted him to sacrifice his only begotten, special, unique, precious son. This looked forward to God sacrificing His only begotten, special, unique, precious Son.

Isaac and Jesus Were Named by God

In Genesis 22:2 God said, “…your only son Isaac…” The mention of Isaac’s name draws a connection to Jesus. Isaac also had the rare distinction of being named by God, instead of being named by earthly parents. Notice the parallelism between these verses:

  • Genesis 17:19—“Sarah… shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac.”
  • Matthew 1:21—“[Mary] shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus.”

Isaac and Jesus Were Loved by Their Fathers

Genesis 22:2—“Then He said, ‘…whom you love….’” The “Principle of First Mention” encourages Bible scholars to take notice of the first time words are used in the Old and New Testaments, and even in each book of the Bible. The idea is God reveals the truest meaning of a word when it first occurs. Genesis 22:2 contains the first use of the word “love.” Considering the different relationships involving love—for example, mother to a son, daughter to a father, sister to a brother, husband to a wife—makes it more significant that the first time the word “love” is in the Old Testament, it describes the love a father feels toward his son.

The first time the word “love” occurs in the New Testament also describes a Father’s love for a Son. God’s words at Jesus’ baptism echo His words to Abraham: “This is My Son, whom I love” (Matthew 3:17 NIV). The parallel verses in Mark 1:11 and Luke 3:22 are also the first time the word love is used in each gospel. As Isaac was the object of his father’s love toward the beginning of the Old Testament, so too was Jesus the object of His Father’s love toward the beginning of the New Testament.

God’s Love for the World

God stated His love for Jesus at the beginning of Matthew, Mark, and Luke; however, a change takes place in John’s gospel. The first time John uses the word love he describes God’s love, not for His Son, but for the world—a love so great that God was willing to sacrifice the Son He stated His love for in the previous three gospels: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Abraham loved his son, but he was willing to give him up because of his love for God. Similarly, God the Father loved His Son, but He was willing to give Him up because of His love for us.

Isaac and Jesus Were Burnt Offerings

In Genesis 22:2 God said, “…and offer him there as a burnt offering…” God did not just ask Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. He specifically said to “offer him as a burnt offering.” Again, God is repetitive to make sure we do not miss this. The words “burnt offering” occur six times between verses two and thirteen. Almost every other verse reminds us Isaac was to be a burnt offering.

Leviticus 1 describes burnt offerings. They were voluntary acts of worship to express devotion to God, or they could serve as an atonement for unintentional sins. The meat, bones, and organs were completely burnt, and this was God’s portion. The animal’s hide was given to the Levites, who could later sell it to earn money for themselves.

Burnt offerings make a fitting picture of Christ. Three times they are called:

…an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

Leviticus 1:9, 13, 17

Paul applies this imagery to Jesus:

[Christ] has given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Ephesians 5:2

The key verse is Leviticus 1:4. Let’s look at it, piece-by-piece:

  • Leviticus 1:4a says “[The priest] shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering.” This communicated the transmission of the sin to the sacrifice, and it looked to the way our sins are transmitted to Christ. Isaiah 53:6 says “the Lord has laid on [Jesus] the iniquity of us all.” In many pictures of the account, Abraham has the knife in one hand, and his other hand is on Isaac’s head to maintain the imagery.
  • Leviticus 1:4b says the burnt offering “will be accepted on [the sinner’s] behalf” looking to the way Christ died in our place.
  • Leviticus 1:4c says the burnt offering will “make atonement for [the sinner]” looking to the way Jesus made atonement for our sins.

The priest shall:

“carry the ashes [of the burnt offering] outside the camp.”

Leviticus 6:11

The same language discusses Christ’s sacrifice:

He… suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Hebrews 13:12-13

Leviticus 1:9 and 13 say “the priest shall burn all on the altar.” Burnt offerings were completely consumed, and Jesus is the true and greater Burnt Offering who was willing to be completely consumed for our sins.

Isaac and Jesus Were “Offered” Up

In Genesis 22:2 God said, “…and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there…” The Hebrew word for “offered” is alah, but it does not mean “given” or “presented” as we would expect. It means, “to go up, ascend, climb, be taken or lifted up.” The idea is that when something is sacrificed, it is “lifted” up to God. Of the eight hundred eighty-nine times alah occurs in the Old Testament, 676 it translates as “up.” When Abraham was commanded to “offer” Isaac, he was essentially commanded to “lift him up.” Jesus spoke of His sacrifice this way:

  • John 3:14—“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”
  • John 12:32—“If I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

Isaac and Jesus Were Accompanied by Two Men on Their Way to Be Sacrificed

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… And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.

Genesis 22:3, 5

Isaac was accompanied by two men on his way to being sacrificed like Jesus was accompanied by two men when He was sacrificed:

Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.

Matthew 27:38

The two men were not able to witness what took place between Abraham and Isaac. Similarly, when Jesus was sacrificed, nobody could see exactly what took place between God the Father and God the Son. When Jesus was on the cross:

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.

Matthew 27:45

The darkness concealed the divine transaction when our sins were placed on Christ.

Isaac and Jesus Carried the Wood for Their Sacrifices

So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.

Genesis 22:6a

The wood for the burnt offering is emphasized throughout the account—mentioned five times in verses 3, 6, 7 and twice in verse 9. The wood looks to the cross. In both accounts, the wood was the physical instrument on which both Isaac and Jesus would be sacrificed:

[Jesus], bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha.”

John 19:17

Just like Jesus carried the wood for His sacrifice on His shoulders when He went to die, so did Isaac carry the wood for his sacrifice on his shoulders when he went to die.

Isaac and Jesus Were Willing to Experience Their Father’s Fire

[Abraham] took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.

Genesis 22:6b

The fire is mentioned twice, in verses 6 and 7. We would expect verse 6 to say Abraham took the implements for building the fire, but instead, it says he “took the fire in his hand” (NKJV, ESV, NASB) or “carried the fire” (NIV). This sounds odd, but it looks forward to God’s wrath, which is commonly associated with fire:

When God poured out His wrath on Sodom and Gomorrah, He rained fire and brimstone from heaven (Genesis 19:24, Luke 17:29). The location for unbelievers who experience God’s wrath for eternity is “the lake of fire” (Revelation 19:20, 20:10, 14, 15). When Abraham carried the fire, it prefigured the wrath God the Father would pour out and the Son would consume. Jesus prayed:

O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.

Matthew 26:39

Jesus drank the Father’s wrath that believers deserve, so there is no more due us:

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

Lamentations 3:22

We are not consumed by God’s wrath, because Jesus was willing to receive it for us. God’s mercy doused the fire for Christians when He lit the fire for His Son.

Isaac and Jesus Were Sacrificial Lambs

But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
And he said, “Here I am, my son.”
Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

Genesis 22:7-8

Abraham thought he would sacrifice Isaac, and then God would raise him from the dead:

He “[concluded] that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead.

Hebrews 11:19

If Abraham expected to sacrifice Isaac, why did he also say God would provide a lamb?

The best solution is Abraham saw Isaac as the lamb to be sacrificed.

The Moody Bible Commentary: A One-Volume Commentary on the Whole Bible by the Faculty of Moody Bible Institute. Moody Publishers, 2014. p. 81.

This further establishes the typology between Isaac and Jesus.

When Isaac said, “Where is the lamb?” he asked one of the most important questions in history. When Abraham answered Isaac’s question, he provided one of the most important answers in history. God would provide a lamb, and John the Baptist identified Him two thousand years later when he said:

Behold! The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.

John 1:29

This was when Isaac’s question was finally answered, and Abraham’s words were finally fulfilled.

Isaac and Jesus Were in Agreement with Their Fathers

[Abraham and Isaac] went together…and Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

Genesis 22:6, 8

The unity between father and son is shown through the repetition of, “the two of them went together.” Consider these verses:

  • John 3:16—“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
  • 1 John 3:16—“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.”

The gospel makes us think of the Father’s love for lost sinners (John 3:16), and the Son’s love for those He died for (1 John 3:16), but this all required the Father and Son working together. The prophet asks:

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?

Amos 3:3

The agreement between Abraham and Isaac pictures the agreement between God the Father and God the Son. In Jesus’ high priestly prayer He said:

I and My Father are one…That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me.

John 10:30, 17:21-23

Acts 20:28 says, “The church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” We would expect the verse to say, “The church of God which Jesus purchased with His blood,” or “The church of God which He purchased with His Son’s blood.” The mention of God purchasing the church with His own blood identifies Jesus as God. If Jesus shed His blood and God purchased the church with “His own blood,” then Jesus must be God:

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

John 3:16

The Father and Son cooperated, and this was prefigured two thousand years earlier when Abraham and Isaac walked to Mount Moriah together.

Jesus and Isaac Were Submissive to Their Fathers

To appreciate Isaac’s submission, we must dispel the incorrect images of Abraham sacrificing a small boy who was helpless against his stronger, more powerful father:

And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

Genesis 22:5

The Hebrew word for “young men” and “lad” is na’ar. Even though Abraham called Isaac “lad,” we should not think he was younger than the servants. The amount of wood needed to build the altar was significant, and Isaac was strong enough to carry it to the top of the mountain, even though it was “afar off” (Genesis 22:4).

Were They the Same Age When Sacrificed?

Sarah had Isaac when she was ninety (Genesis 17:17). Genesis 23:1 says she died when she was one hundred twenty-seven years old. Isaac was thirty-seven at that time, which makes him somewhat younger in Genesis 22. Considering the account is a picture of what God would do with His Son two thousand years later, Isaac and Jesus could have been close in age when sacrificed.

Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born, so add Isaac’s age in Genesis 22 to one hundred and you get Abraham’s age when he was going to sacrifice Isaac. Regardless of their exact ages, there was a strong, healthy son, and an old father. Isaac could have overpowered Abraham, but he kept his strength under control. Isaac’s submission is the reason Abraham could “(bind) his son”:

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.

Genesis 22:9

Jesus and Isaac Trusted Their Fathers

Why was Isaac submissive to Abraham? The simple, yet beautiful, answer is he trusted his father. The same was true with Jesus. Just like Isaac put his life in his father’s hands, Jesus put His life in His Father’s hands:

When He was reviled, did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.

1 Peter 2:23

Nobody took Isaac’s life from him, like nobody took Jesus’ life from Him:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep… As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep… And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd… Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father… Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 10:11, 15, 17-18, 15:13

Jesus and Isaac Were Willing to Die

Isaac’s willingness to lay down his life pictures Jesus’ willingness to lay down His life:

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.

1 John 3:16

When the mob came to arrest Jesus, Peter took out his sword to defend Him, and He said:

Put your sword (away)… Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Matthew 26:52-53

Jesus kept His authority and power under control. The greater the restraint, the greater the submission. Since nobody has ever had the power and authority of Jesus, there has never been a greater demonstration of submission than His. Isaac’s submission is impressive, but it pales in comparison to Jesus’ submission. When we think of Jesus’ submission, we should think about:

  • How He was willing to submit—perfectly
  • What He was willing to submit to—the wrath of God our sins deserve
  • Why He was willing to submit—His great love for us

Jesus and Isaac Were Placed on the Wood for Their Sacrifices

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.

Genesis 22:9

When our first child, Rhea, was born, a doctor and some friends gave my wife, Katie, and me the same warning: “Do not cut your baby’s nails with clippers. You could end up catching a finger.” One time Katie used clippers, and sure enough, she cut Rhea’s finger. Rhea was hurt, but Katie hurt even more. She felt so bad that she could not even talk about it without crying.

The injury was not serious. Our children have experienced much worse since then, but nothing has ever upset Katie as much. Why was she so troubled when she clipped Rhea’s finger? Reflecting on the situation, I came to understand Katie was devastated because she caused Rhea’s pain.

How Much Worse for Abraham and God the Father?

How must Abraham have felt when he laid Isaac on the wood and thought about what he would do? Just as much as Katie wished she could have been the one with the bleeding finger, Abraham must have wished he could be the one on the altar versus being the one standing beside it. Being able to take Isaac’s place would have seemed too good to be true for this old man. In the years I have been a father, I have thought of this story and wondered if I could do what God called Abraham to do.

I do not know if I could have even watched Abraham do this. Seeing him bind his son would be almost unbearable. But in being placed on the wood, Isaac looks like Jesus Who was placed on the cross. Isaac did not climb on the wood any more than Jesus climbed on the cross. Imagine what this was like for Abraham with Isaac. Then imagine what it was like for God with His Son.

Jesus and Isaac Were Sacrificed by Their Fathers

And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

Genesis 22:10

Abraham appears in control as he goes about the preparations. He rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, took two servants with him, split the wood, departed, commanded the servants to remain behind, and placed the wood on his son. But never does Abraham look more sovereign over the sacrifice of his son than when he “took the knife to slay” him.

The knife is mentioned in verses 6 and 10, and it speaks of execution. Priests used knives for centuries to sacrifice animals, and Abraham would use one on Isaac. As responsible as Abraham would have been, had he sacrificed Isaac, God is that responsible for sacrificing Jesus. We say, “The Jews murdered their Messiah,” or “The Romans crucified Jesus,” or “Our sins nailed the Son of God to the cross.” While these statements are true in that Jesus died for our sins, it is even truer to say the One Person responsible for crucifying Him was His Father.

When Pilate had Jesus before him, he mistakenly thought he had authority over Him:

Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”
Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”

John 19:10-11

Jesus let Pilate know the authority he had was given to him by God to accomplish His purpose. The only reason Pilate could do anything with Jesus was because Pilate’s actions furthered God’s plan for Christ to be crucified:

  • Luke 22:22 says, “Truly the Son of Man goes as it has been determined (by God).”
  • Acts 2:23 says Jesus was, “delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God.”

When the Christians in the early church prayed for boldness they said:

For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, Whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

Acts 4:27-28

At first, it sounds as though Christ’s sacrifice is attributed to these individuals, but the final words declare it was God. All these people gathered together to see Christ crucified, but in doing so, they fulfilled God’s predetermined plan. Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles, and the Jews could not have been more opposed to each other, but God banded them together to see Christ crucified.

Was Jesus Slain Before He Was Born?

[Jesus is] the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:8

The verse is in the past tense; how can it say Jesus was slain thousands of years before He was born in Bethlehem? This is called the Prophetic Perfect. When God has determined something, it is so certain that it will take place that it is written as though it already happened. God the Father was so determined to sacrifice His Son for our sins that He wrote about it as though it had already taken place in the past.

The Father was responsible for the Son’s sacrifice:

It pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin…

Isaiah 53:10

The Lord “bruised Him… put Him to grief… made His soul an offering,” and unbelievably, “it pleased the Lord” to do this. Elsewhere Scripture says God does not take pleasure in punishing the wicked:

  • Ezekiel 18:23—“‘Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?’ says the Lord GOD, ‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?’”
  • Ezekiel 33:11—“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’”

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but He took pleasure in the death of His perfect, sinless Son. These verses are the opposite of what we would imagine. God was grieved, distraught, pained, and heartbroken are the words we would expect to read. How could God be pleased with His Son’s death? Because of what it accomplished. Our redemption. Our forgiveness. Our righteousness. Our reconciliation. If the Father punished His Son, He would not have to punish us. If the Father poured out His wrath on Jesus, He would not have to pour out His wrath on us. God the Father sovereignly sacrificed His Son, and it was prefigured two thousand years earlier when Abraham walked up the mountain carrying the knife to sacrifice Isaac.

Jesus and Isaac Were Silent When Laying Down Their Lives

Consider this conversation between Abraham and Isaac:

But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”
And he said, “Here I am, my son.”
Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

Genesis 22:7-8

Isaac speaks to Abraham. He asks his father a question, and his father responds. Therefore, Isaac’s silence before being sacrificed is astonishing. He is bound, laid on the altar, his father picks up the knife, but he does not say a word. Scripture prophesied of the same response from Jesus:

He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

Isaiah 53:7

The fulfillment was shown during Jesus’ trials:

  • Before Caiaphas, Matthew 26:62-63 records, “And the high priest arose and said to Him, ‘Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?’ But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, ‘I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!’”
  • Before Pilate, Matthew 27:12-14 records, “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?’ But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.”
  • Before Herod, Luke 23:9 records, “Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing.”

Isaac’s silence before his sacrifice prefigured Jesus’ silence two thousand years later before His sacrifice.

Two More Similarities Between Isaac and Jesus’ Sacrifice

I have two more similarities between Isaac and Jesus’ sacrifice, but they needed their own posts:

Conclusion

The similarities between Isaac and Jesus’ sacrifice are numerous and incredible as you can see. Isaac is a type for Jesus, because God the Father wants to reveal His Son to us through the Old Testament. Make sure you see Christ, the true and greater Isaac, through the sacrifice in Genesis 22.

14 Responses

  1. Is Isaac a type of Christ?

    Here are some observations:

    Isaac didn’t die, did he? In contrast, Jesus died.

    Actually, it was the ram which died in Issac’s place. Jesus died in our (sinners’) place.

    Isaac didn’t know he was to be the sacrifice as he went to the land of Moriah. In contrast, Jesus knew he was sent by his Father, agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    Now, father Abraham didn’t provide the ram as the sacrificial substitute for his son, Isaac. However, God did provide His one and only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) as the sacrificial Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Abraham is not a type for God either, is he?

    Regarding what the story in Genesis 22 builds up to is the Personhood of God. God provides. Abraham recognized this truth concerning God personally and experientially. God provided or gave His one and only begotten Son. By the way, Abraham didn’t provide anything other than finding the wood for the sacrifice.

    Appreciate your rejoinder to the above observations, when mulling over Genesis, and subsequently happened to see your article. Thank you.

    1. Hello Robert,
      I wanted to respond to multiple parts of your comment, so I copied and pasted it below.

      Is Isaac a type of Christ?

      Yes, do you disagree? We don’t really have to wonder, because Hebrews 11 establishes Isaac as a type of Christ.

      Here are some observations:
      Isaac didn’t die, did he? In contrast, Jesus died.

      Isaac didn’t die physically, but he died figuratively as Hebrews 11:17-19 explain: “17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.”
      In particular, notice it says Abraham did offer up Isaac and “Figuratively speaking receive him back [from the dead].”

      Actually, it was the ram which died in Issac’s place. Jesus died in our (sinners’) place.

      Agreed, please look at this post I wrote and let me know your thoughts: The Ram’s Substitutionary Atonement for Isaac

      Isaac didn’t know he was to be the sacrifice as he went to the land of Moriah. In contrast, Jesus knew he was sent by his Father, agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane.

      Agreed, but there was still a point that Isaac knew what was happening and he continued to submit to his father…like Jesus.

      Now, father Abraham didn’t provide the ram as the sacrificial substitute for his son, Isaac. However, God did provide His one and only begotten Son (Jesus Christ) as the sacrificial Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. Abraham is not a type for God either, is he?

      Although there aren’t as many parallels between Abraham and God the Father, I would still say that Abraham serves as a type of God the Father. They were both willing to sacrifice their son, their only begotten son, whom they love.

      Regarding what the story in Genesis 22 builds up to is the Personhood of God. God provides. Abraham recognized this truth concerning God personally and experientially. God provided or gave His one and only begotten Son. By the way, Abraham didn’t provide anything other than finding the wood for the sacrifice.

      I disagree. He provided his son.

      Appreciate your rejoinder to the above observations, when mulling over Genesis, and subsequently happened to see your article. Thank you.

      You are welcome. Thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate the dialogue. God bless!

        1. Gary,
          Yes, Jesus was definitely a human sacrifice. This is known as penal or substitutionary atonement. Animal sacrifices could only cover sins until Christ, the true and greater sacrifice, came. If anything less than a person died for our sins that wouldn’t be an adequate substitute.

          God loved us enough to offer His as a sacrifice in our place. the wrath our sins deserved report out on Jesus as He hung on the cross. An animal could never receive all the wrath do for man’s sins. Jesus was also God in the flesh; therefore, He was able to receive an infinite amount of punishment when He was crucified.

          Regarding cannibalism, transubstantiation, the teaching that the bread and wine became the physical body and blood of Christ is unbiblical. The Bible teaches that the elements are symbolic; therefore, no cannibalism has ever taken place as an act of worship or obedience.

        2. We have done God a great injustice to say that He required the blood of Isaac or Jesus. Abraham is not a ‘type’ of God and Isaac is not a type of Christ. Abraham had faith in God but was led astray by the customs of the Canaanites in his attempted sacrifice of his son. It was a human ‘elohim’ who tempted Abraham, and it was the messenger of ‘Jehovah’ who stopped him carrying out an abominable practice… explained at this link alsowritten.wordpress.com/2022/01/20/the-offering-of-isaac/

        3. Robin,
          I looked at your post and it seems like your main objection is that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, which you are convinced He would not do because of those verses you quoted about the wickedness of child sacrifice. First, God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac, which shows He didn’t truly want Abraham to sacrifice him. Please see this post I wrote about why God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Additionally, what do you do about the extermination of the Canaanites and the Amalekites, which involved God commanding the Israelites to execute children?

          It seems like your second objection is that the word for God, Elohim, does not refer to the God of the Bible. The problem is that same word is used repeatedly to refer to God in places where it is obvious that the God of the Bible is in view. For example, Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning God…” and Genesis 1:3 says, “And God said…” in both of these verses and thousands of other times throughout the Old Testament Elohim is the word used for God. To say that it is not God in Genesis 22:1 is to say that it is not God in Genesis 1:1 as well as these other places.

  2. Hello Pastor Scott,
    This is very insightful and simple to understand. I am blessed. God bless and increase you

  3. Hi Pastor Scott,
    This article was very insightful. I’ve been keeping up with almost all of your material and it’s been very helpful.

    Recently I had the privilege of teaching our youth Genesis 25 which provoked reading the surrounding scriptures and I found Isaac one of the most captivating characters. I also, found these parallels to be a stretch, but because various commentaries announced them as fact, I doubted myself. I find myself doing that often when I interpret something differently then perhaps Pastor Joe or whatever book. Your viewpoint helped me confirm the need to examine abstract concepts.

    Thank you,
    Josh

    1. Hi Josh,
      Glad to hear from you.

      Yes, I know it can be tough when there are conflicting thoughts, not just when it comes to types but interpretations of verses in general.

      I’ve learned to put greater confidence in some commentaries and some commentators than others. I’ve also learned to be more patient and prayerful; patient in terms of not embracing something simply because I read it, but waiting to see it carries out following further study.

      Hope you and your family are doing well!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Scott's Podcast
Subscribe to Scott's Newsletter

… and receive a free ebook. 
You can unsubscribe anytime.

Newsletter subscription for Scott LaPierre with Seven Biblical Insights