God Works Wonders With Wood – A Meditation on the Cross and How God Prefigured It In the Old Testament

As we draw near to Holy Week, and on this Friday when many of us pray the Stations of the Cross, we do well to meditate on the wood of the cross. For it is a fascinating fact that, when saving His people, God often had recourse to wood. Indeed, one of the great themes of the Old Testament and into the New Testament is that “God Works Wonders With Wood.”

Consider with me a number of places in the Scriptures where God uses wood to save:

Read more

Biblical Mystery: What Is Gopher Wood?

Q: The Bible says that Noah built the Ark out of gopher wood. What IS gopher wood?

A: I’m not sure anyone really knows, since the Ark has never been found.

There is an ancient story that goes something like this:

God finished explaining the plans for the Ark to Noah.

Noah looked around for his sons, who would be his chief helpers on the project.

Then Noah said to them, “Go fer wood!”

The rest is history. 

Abraham and Isaac, the sacrifice, and the prophetic word

isaac-sacrifice.jpgjccarriescrossenh.jpg

 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?