So far, we have looked through our old dusty photo album to find pictures of Jesus in places we may not have seen Him before. In each and every picture we see how God very carefully unfolds His plan of salvation for the world. This week is no different, only this week the picture is becoming more and more clear.
There are only three more pictures of Jesus in Genesis that we will look at before we end our study. This week is one of my favorite pictures. It is unmistakable that the picture we will see today is a foreshadowing of Jesus. These final three pictures make the plan of God perfectly clear. Perfectly clear. Ready?
Last week we studied the picture of Jesus in the story and birth of Isaac. He had been promised for years before he finally arrived and his birth and the circumstances of his birth are remarkably similar to the birth of Jesus. This week Isaac is still the focus but he is older now.
You will remember that God promised Abraham to make him the father of many nations. And that his offspring will be as numerous as the sand in the sea and stars in the sky. In order for that to happen he had to have a son. When it looked like it was too late and there was no hope of ever having this promised son…God delivered…pardon the pun. 😉
The remarkable thing is that through it all, Abraham trusted God’s word to be true. And in the book of Hebrews it tells us in chapter 11 that Abraham believed God and his faith is credited to him as Righteousness. But God’s not finished with Abraham yet. Right when things started looking up, God tested Abraham’s faith, once again.
God called Abraham to go up into the mountain, that He would show him, and offer a sacrifice. Not just any sacrifice. He was to offer his son, Isaac, his only son whom he loved. He was instructed to go to the mount Moriah. And he obeyed. I can’t imagine the turmoil Abraham must have been going thru. They traveled for 3 days. Finally, they arrived at the place God had chosen. Abraham had servants along with him. He told the servants to wait at the bottom of the mountain and said he and the boy would go up to make sacrifice and worship and “we will return.”
This statement speaks volumes about Abraham’s faith. “We will return.” Hebrews goes on to say that Abraham believed that even if God had called him to sacrifice his only son, that God would raise him from the dead. Yep, that’s what it says. And it was credited to him as righteousness. God had already promised him to be the father of many nations and it was to come through Isaac, not Ishmael.
On the way up the mountain, Abraham had Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice. Isaac kept questioning his father about the ram for the sacrifice. Where was it? Abraham kept saying “The Lord will provide himself a sacrifice”…..Jehovah Jireh. God my provider. Just as Abraham was about to kill his only son, God intervened and stopped Abraham just in the knick of time.
A ram was caught in the thicket and provided the sacrifice they needed. And Abraham passed the test. He completely trusted God.
God is unfolding His plan to redeem the world more and more with each picture. The picture has become even clearer this week.
The symbolism in this story is unquestionably a picture of Jesus. Abraham was sent on a three day journey to Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah is the place that one day the city of Jerusalem would be built. It’s there today! Jerusalem is built on Mount Moriah! It was on a mount outside this area that Abraham took Isaac to sacrifice him. Jesus carried the wooden cross up the hill outside of Jerusalem and was sacrificed, for our sin.
I’m not a pro at verb tenses and all, but the translation of the sentence spoken by Abraham translates to: “In the mountain of the Lord, it shall be seen in the future, that the Lord Himself will provide the sacrifice.” Someday, in the future, the Lord will provide himself the sacrifice ~ in this very vicinity.
I dare say, seeing how picture perfect God has been so far…that is was the exact location.
There are only two more pictures in this album. One of them is my most favorite of all time. I can’t wait to share it with you! Please come back….and see how the story ends…