Abraham and Isaac, the sacrifice, and the prophetic word

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 Holy Week is fast approaching.

Someone recently asked: “Does Genesis 22 make any sense to anyone who isn’t Christian?

Gen 22:2 He said to him: Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision; and there thou shalt offer him for an holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will shew thee.
Gen 22:3 So Abraham rising up in the night, saddled his ass, and took with him two young men, and Isaac his son: and when he had cut wood for the holocaust, he went his way to the place which God had commanded him.
Gen 22:4 And on the third day, lifting up his eyes, he saw the place afar off.
Gen 22:5 And he said to his young men: Stay you here with the ass; I and the boy will go with speed as far as yonder, and after we have worshipped, will return to you.
Gen 22:6 And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword. And as they two went on together,
Gen 22:7 Isaac said to his father: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim for the holocaust?
Gen 22:8 And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son. So they went on together.
Gen 22:9 And they came to the place which God had shewn him, where he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it; and when he had bound Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the pile of wood.
Gen 22:10 And he put forth his hand, and took the sword, to sacrifice his son.
Gen 22:11 And behold, an angel of the Lord from heaven called to him, saying: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am.
Gen 22:12 And he said to him: Lay not thy hand upon the boy, neither do thou any thing to him: now I know that thou fearest God, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake.
Gen 22:13 Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram, amongst the briers, sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust instead of his son.

The questioner went on to wonder if non-Christians, particularly Jews and Muslims, saw any deeper meaning in this passage, and then he went on to describe what he could see in it.

This was my reply:

A-a-a-h, but to a discerning Christian, it is the story of the lamb, and the story of Calvary, as revealed in Old Testament types and symbols.

Isaac was the son of promise … not Ishmael. And since Ishmael was banished, along with his mom … Isaac alone remains … so truly is the “only” son.

The story of the faithful and obedient son, who carries on his back, the wood for the sacrifice.

A 3-day journey.

The wood signifies the cross.

The mountain is Moriah … later known as Golgotha and Calvary.

The lamb is Christ.

The brier thicket is the crown of thorns.

Abraham and Isaac are a people saved by faith, faith that is signified and memorialized by the blood of the lamb.

And why should God sacrifice his own son for a people who wouldn’t do the same for him, anyway?