For the past few weeks, I’ve been teaching a class about prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament.
This particular prophecy has to do with Isaac as foreshadowing Jesus. It really is interesting to consider the many ways in which the story of Isaac foreshadows the story of Jesus.
Consider some of the similarities.
One similarity between Isaac and Jesus involves the idea of a miraculous birth. The birth of Isaac was miraculous because, as Isaac’s mother said, “My husband and I are too old to have a baby” (Genesis 18:12 NCV).
She was 90, and her husband (Abraham) was 100. And yet God made it happen, noting, “There is nothing too difficult for me” (Genesis 18:14 CEV).
The birth of Jesus was of course miraculous because His mother was virgi n— as was prophesied, “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son” (Isaiah 7:14 ESV; see also Matthew 1:23).
Another similarity between Isaac and Jesus involves the idea of sacrifice. God told Abraham, “Go get Isaac, your only son, the one you dearly love! Take him to the land of Moriah, and I will show you a mountain where you must sacrifice him to me on the fires of an altar” (Genesis 22:2 CEV).
Significantly, Isaac carried the wood for the fire of this sacrifice and then was laid on this wood (Genesis 22:6, 9).
As it turned out, God prevented Abraham from actually killing Isaac. God was simply testing Abraham (Genesis 22:1). But in the case of Jesus, Jesus did become a sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2). Jesus carried the wood of the cross and was laid upon it (John 19:17-18).
Another similarity between Isaac and Jesus involves the idea of resurrection. How could Abraham decide to kill his son?
Hebrews 11:17-19 explains. It says, “God tested Abraham’s faith. God told him to offer Isaac as a sacrifice. Abraham obeyed because he had faith. He already had the promises from God. And God had already said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your descendants will come.’ But Abraham was ready to offer his only son. He did this because he had faith. He believed that God could raise people from death. And really, when God stopped Abraham from killing Isaac, it was as if he got him back from death” (ERV).
Of course, Abraham was right in thinking that “God could raise people from death.” That was demonstrated by the resurrection of Jesus, and it will be demonstrated amply at the end of time — as Paul said, “Christ has been raised from the dead! He was the first One to be raised from the dead and all those who are in graves will follow” (1 Corinthians 15:20 NLV).
But now notice the similarity. Isaac was resurrected from the dead figuratively speaking (Hebrews 11:19), and Jesus was resurrected from the dead literally!
By Jake King
(Jake King is the preacher at Seneca Church of Christ. He can be reached at (417) 776-3077.)