Pointing to Jesus
Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together. Genesis 22:1-8 (New International Version, NIV) emphasis mine
Abraham binds Isaac to the wood and prepares to kill him but the Lord interrupts him, telling him not to harm Isaac. He provides a ram for Abraham to sacrifice instead.
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” Genesis 22:13-14 (NIV) emphasis mine
I want to point out a few details that we might miss if we read this portion of scripture too casually. Throughout the Old Testament, God was foretelling the coming of Jesus and His death, burial, and resurrection. In the account of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah, there are parallels between this story and the crucifixion.
First of all, do not overlook the fact that they came to the sacrifice location on the third day. Isaac was spared and a ram took his place on that third day. Because of this, Isaac was given a new chance at life. Of course, we immediately associate this with Jesus’ resurrection on the third day, giving us all a new life.
Isaac asked his father about the lamb for the sacrifice. Abraham told him that God would provide the lamb. At the time that Abraham and Isaac were on Mount Moriah, God did not provide a lamb- He provided a ram. Don’t let this throw you- Abraham was correct in saying God would provide the lamb. He did it later on Calvary when Jesus died as the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world. Abraham was actually speaking prophetically, pointing to the time of Jesus.
Finally, let’s look at the saying that they used at the time, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” That saying itself was a prophetic declaration of the coming Messiah and that He would provide salvation and everything we need by His death on Mount Moriah. What some people do not know is that Abraham and Isaac were standing on the exact mountain on which Jesus would later be crucified.
Jehovah is a very exact and precise God. He strategically placed information in the Old Testament that would clearly point to the Savior. What an amazing God we serve!