Monday, September 29, 2008


In Thursday Bible class, Pastor was talking about the Father giving His Son, and so he brought up the ultimate icon of that: Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac. As he was quoting from the pertinent part of Genesis 22, I noticed that God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a burnt offering.

Having just gone through the Leviticus stories the previous week or two in Matins, I was recalling all the different kinds of sacrifices: peace offerings, sin offerings, burnt offerings, thank offerings, wave offerings, etc. I had never before noticed that God connected Isaac with the label of a particular offering; I just thought Abraham had been told to sacrifice his son, his only son whom he loved. I needed to run back to Leviticus and look to see what were the unique features of the burnt offering.

Just in case you haven't thought of it before, I want to point out that there are LOTS (lots lots lots!!!) of similarities between the story of Isaac and the story of Jesus. Three days. He carried the wood that would be used for his own sacrifice. He trusted his father. Mount Moriah. Left the followers behind. "God will provide for Himself the ram for the burnt offering." And so much more. Suffice it to say that when we look at Isaac, we get a real good peek-ahead picture of Jesus on the cross.

But the point new to me this week was the burnt offering. Burnt offerings were a voluntary offering. And they were one where the sinner laid hands on the animal to transfer the guilt of sin to the animal which was to be sacrificed. So in this way too -- the particular variety of sacrifice -- Isaac looked like Jesus.

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