This post is from one of the pastors at http://www.calvarychapel.com
Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” (NKJV)
If God the Father desired to share his darkest hour with a friend, how would He do it? That is the scene we see played out in Genesis 22, a prophetic Old Testament picture of the Easter story. For in it we see Abraham’s beloved and supernaturally born son, walking for three days to Moriah (Jerusalem). We see Isaac carrying the wood upon his own back up the mountain and being willingly bound upon it…and we see Abraham carrying the fire and the knife by which he would slay his only begotten.
Every aspect of the story so beautifully depicts our Savior’s crucifixion. Just as Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days, the 3 days journey to Moriah had to be the heaviest moments of Abraham’s life. For all the while, he considered His son to be a dead man walking, whom God would have to raise to life (Hebrews 11:19). The wood depicts the patibulum that Jesus carried to Calvary and was ultimately crucified upon (John 19:17). The fire represents the fiery wrath and indignation that God poured out upon His only son in the judgement of sin (Hebrews 12:29). The knife represents the sword that was thrust into Jesus’ side after He had said “It is finished!” (John 19:34).
But what about the ram? Why did Abraham sacrifice a ram, we ask? As Abraham said “God will provide for Himself the Lamb”! Himself the Lamb! There upon that very mountain which Abraham called, The-Lord-Will-Provide, God provided Himself 2000 years later. There on Moriah, Jesus Christ would come and willingly lay down His life, for there could only be one, true Lamb of God! As John the Baptist cried out, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”, may we also proclaim Christ this Easter. Thank you Jesus, our Passover Lamb, for taking away our sin! Hallelujah!