Ok, so I decided that I would like to look at Genesis 22 for the second linked post. If you want to read the corresponding post from Caron click here.
There is loads that can be said about Genesis 22, I could talk about sacrifice, following God's plans even if we don't like them or even look at how Isaac might have felt because of his Father's actions. But for me the reason that Genesis 22 is so important are the parallels between this and the sacrifice God made through Jesus.
Through all of this story there are a number of events or circumstances which foreshadow what is to occur in the New Testament. To begin with Moriah the place where the sacrifice is to occur is the eventual site where Solomon built the temple which is in close proximity to Calvary. God chose the site for the sacrifice and therefore the setting is not accidental. For me this is the first indication not only of what is to come but also the fact that God does not ask of us more than He Himself is willing to give. Because this site was not close to Abraham he had to travel a significant distance in order to follow God's direction. Numbers are important in the Bible, they hold meaning and are representative of God's actions, plans and thoughts. Because of this the length of time Abraham journeyed is also significant, the journey Abraham went on took him 3 days. The number 3 in the Bible is used to denote God's will or His divine purpose.
We see before the sacrifice that Isaac was laden with the wood for the offering, that he struggled up the mountain bearing the device for his sacrifice. This is a striking resemblance to the fact that Jesus bore his cross to Calvary. Both struggled to carry the load that they had to carry, for Isaac it was only the wood but Jesus carried not only the weight of the cross but the sin of all mankind too.
Abraham had already been promised that his ancestors though Isaac would be an untold number and he trusted God in this. Therefore when God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac he knew that though he could not understand the plan God would ensure that His promise would not be broken. He believed that God could resurrect Isaac after the sacrifice, that he would be given back to Abraham from the dead. In a certain sense this did happen, when Abraham lifted his arms to kill Isaac in his head his son was dead. In stopping the sacrifice God was raising Isaac from "death" and saving him for His use.
In what I find to be a moment of great foreshadowing after the sacrifice was stopped God then provided the sacrifice that would be made. The animal that was sacrificed that day was representative of the huge sacrifice God was going to make for us all. The blood of the ram that was sacrificed was significant in sealing the deal between God and mankind that one day the blood of the Lamb would be spilled which would cleanse us all.
One of my great loves of the Bible is how it is all connected, while any one book in the Bible is capable of standing alone, when it is viewed in its complete form the nature and plans of God can be glimpsed. This story is from the beginning of the Bible and yet we can already see that God's plan was in place.
God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.
The New Testament is not separate from the Old Testament, they form one book, one story. I know that this is far from being a comprehensive look at Genesis 22 and that there is much more that could be learned from it. I do hope though that this may spark an interest to go back and look at the Bible stories we all know so well and consider them in relation to each other. It's an amazing book the Bible, you could read it for an entire lifetime and still not learn all there is to learn from it. You could read it 10, 20, 30 years or more in the future having read it every day and still find something new.
Thoughts or comments please leave below, thanks.
This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.