The ultimate sacrifice.
“Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife…” Genesis 22:6, NIV. Isaac carried the wood as a shadow which pointed to reality. The reality was when God offered His Son for the sin of the humankind. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, carried His cross (the wood) on which the heavenly Father offered Him as the sacrifice for the sin of the rebellious humankind. “Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.” John 19:16, 17, NIV. The Skull, or the Golgotha, is west of the city of Jerusalem, and just outside its ancient wall. The Skull is the same place where earthly father Abraham was to sacrifice his one and the only son.
When Isaac saw that the wood and the fire were there, he asked his Father, Abraham, “…where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Genesis 22:7, NIV. Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” Genesis 22:8, NIV. The Abraham’s answer was prophetic for, in the fullness of time, God did provide the Lamb for the sacrifice for the sin of the world. However, God also provided a lamb in place of Isaac. “Abraham looked up and there in the thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.” Genesis 22:13, NIV.
The ram symbolized Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, whom the heavenly Father offered for the sin of the humankind. And as the ram’s head was tangled in thorns, so also the Lamb of God, with thorns on His head, was sacrificed for the sin of the rebellious humankind. “Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head…” John 19:1, 2, NIV. Experience of Abraham and his son was told and retold for centuries, before and after the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, yet it received little or no notice.
It is continued in the next blog.