Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Christ The Lamb Upon Mount Moriah; Genesis 22
"And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you" (Genesis 22:5).
Reader! recollect how Jesus, in His unequalled agony in the garden, was withdrawn from the more immediate followers which He had taken with Him there; Matthew 22:41.
"And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid [it] upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together" (Genesis 22:6).
So Jesus carried His cross; John 19:17.
"And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together" (Genesis 22:8).
Reader! it is no interesting question, though perhaps not easily answered; did Abraham really know that God had already provided a Lamb for a burnt-offering: even the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world?
• There are two passages in the scriptures which seem to imply as much.
Jesus hath given the one (John 8:56); and the Holy Ghost by His servant the apostle hath given the other (Hebrews 11:17).
• But reader! whether Abraham in those distant ages had such clear views of Jesus or not; what blessings, what privileges are ours, before whom the Lamb of God is not only provided, but hath fully taken away sin by His blood (John 1:29; Revelation 13:8).
"And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son" (Genesis 22:9-10).
I pass over many interesting things which belong to this history, considered naturally, in order to regard such as are spiritual.
• How delightful a representation doth the whole transaction afford of God the Father's love? Romans 8:32.
• How sweet a type is given, in the obedience and voluntary surrender of Isaac, of the free and voluntary offering of the Lord Jesus on the cross? John 10:18; Philippians 2:8; Ephesians 5:2.
"And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here [am] I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son] from me" (Genesis 22:11-12).
This knowledge is not meant as referring to God, but as proving the faith of His people to the world; Deuteronomy 8:2.
But were not those three days [cf. verse 4] during which Isaac lay under sentence of death, until released by an order from heaven, typical of Christ's lying under death, until raised the third day from the grave? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind [him] a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son" (Genesis 22:13).
Another type of Jesus as a substitute.
1 Peter 1:19; 1 Corinthians 5:7. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
"And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only [son]" (Genesis 22:15-16).
Zacharias refers to the oath and promise, and applies both to Christ; Luke 1:73.
When we behold the happy termination of the trial of Abraham's faith, who doth not see the certainty of that precious promise, 'Blessed is the man that endureth temptation'!
Oh! the vast privilege of those whom the Lord enables to be faithful, and whom He supports in the trying hour.
Gracious God! be it my portion to be kept by grace in every conflict, then shall I be more than conqueror through Him that hath loved me.
But while I derive this instruction, under grace, from the Patriarch's bright example of faith, teach me Lord to behold a more glorious object of contemplation, in what this scene do strikingly represents of divine mercy.
• Do I not see in Abraham, as a father so readily offering up his son, the type of that unequalled love of God the Father in giving His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for the salvation of His people?
• And in the free-will offering of Isaac, to his father's direction, is not Jesus's voluntary submission to the death of the cross strongly represented?
Oh! matchless love of both!
May it be my happiness always to connect, in the view of redemption, the love of both, as the united cause and source of all my hopes; and under the precious application of the Father's grace, and the Son's merits to my heart, by the merciful influences of God the Holy Ghost, may I live in the full enjoyment of this assurance, until I come to enter upon the possession of the realised felicity unto all eternity.