We will now look at an example from the Old Testament, and for this we are going to look at Abraham and Isaac.
Abraham started his life in Ur of the Chaldeans. His father Terah worshiped idols, many different gods, but for some reason Terah moved himself and his family from the land of the Chaldeans to a place called Haran, and it is from there that God called Abraham and told him;
Genesis 12:2 "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:"
We see here that although his father worshiped idols and had many gods, Abraham knew and worshiped the one true God, and when God called him he did not ask questions or hesitate, but packed up and left. What great faith!
This is what God calls us to do, to leave the so called riches of the world behind and follow Him. If we still cling to and long for the pleasures of this world then we are not fully focused on God, not truly following his plan for us. Abraham was a very wealthy man, it was probably very hard for him to leave his big house and luxury for the life of a nomad, but he left believing God's promise of something better.
The story of Abraham is a fascinating one. Eventually the son of promise is born to Abraham. This is a son that he and his wife thought they would never have, since by this time Abraham was 100 years old and his wife Sarah was 80, but they had this little boy, this promise of God, who must have been very precious to them. God had provided this miracle for them and He also told Abraham what name to give to this little boy.
Genesis 17:19 "And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him."
As this little boy grows he must have been the delight of their lives. But one day God calls Abraham and says...
Genesis 22:2-3 "2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him."
What a journey this must have been for Abraham. The closer they came to their destination the more his heart must have been breaking and his faith tried.
For three days, Abraham considered his son as dead - but believing God would have to raise Isaac up to fulfill all His promises - and in that too we see a type of Christ, the coming Messiah and Saviour of the world.
Hebrews 11:19 "Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure."
Genesis 22:7-8 "7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together."
Notice the faith of Abraham - he looked forward to the cross, where the Messiah, the Lamb of God, would die in our place.
The theme of Christ's sacrifice is pictured all through the Bible. In the Old Testament, in the New Testament, in the book of Revelation, we see Jesus referred to as "a Lamb as it had been slain," bearing the scars of His crucifixion for eternity.
When Abraham and Isaac reach the desired spot and set up the alter, Abraham alone with His son would have to tell him who the sacrifice was to be.
Genesis 22:7-10 "7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son."
Abraham got everything in order, prepared the altar - and his son willingly laid down his life! We must remember that Isaac is a strong youn man - somewhere between the age of 25-35; no one forced him to give up his life - Isaac willingly let his father bind him upon the altar, he willingly laid down his life.
Hebrews 11:17-18 "17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called."
This was a picture of how our Saviour would came down from Heaven, and willingly lay down His life to save us.
Luke 22:42 "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."
What tremendous trust and love both Abraham and Isaac had for God.
Genesis 22:11-12 "11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me."
What an amazing test of faith! I doubt any of us have ever been called to endure such a test. If we were would we like Abraham and Isaac be so obedient to God? Here we see a type of the relationship between the Father and Son.
God spared Abraham the pain of losing his beloved son, but showed Abraham that there would be no one to spare His only Son and that He would be the ultimate sacrifice for mankind, the only One who could fully pay the price for man's sins.
Have you trusted in His free gift of salvation? God preached the Gospel to Abraham through prophecies and types, and here we see this type opened up before our eyes.
Let's just recap on the similarities:
The details that make this incident on Mount Moriah such a vivid portrait of the incident nearly two millenia later on Mt. Calvary are staggering. One interesting point is that the region of Mount Moriah is mentioned as the location where Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem:
2 Chronicles 3:1 "Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father ..."
And it was outside the city walls that Jesus was crucified. Many Bible scholars agree that "Mount Moriah" was the actual mount upon which two thousand years later Jesus was suspended on the cross as a sacrifice for all people.
Both involve a father and a beloved only-begotten son, whom the father does not withhold (Gen 22:2, John 3:16).
Both were offered on a hill/mountain (Genesis 22:2, Luke 23:33).
Two men went with them, Abraham's two servants, and the two thieves on the cross.
Both bore upon their own shoulders the "wood" upon which they would offer up their lives (Genesis 22:6, John 19:17).
God would provide Himself the sacrifice.
The ram in the thicket - Jesus wore a crown of thorns.
Both had promise of the everlasting covenant.
And both went willingly to the place of execution, esteeming their own lives not as precious as fulfilling the will of the Father.
Both sons are delivered unto death, as it were, and returned again to their fathers alive on the third day (Genesis 22:4).
Only two were involved - Father and Son
We have looked at an Old Testament example of the Father and Son relationship and we will now look at a New Testament parable of Jesus. Remember, these examples and parables were put in the Bible to teach us lessons, to show us the love that God has for us and the relationship between Himself and His Son. There are many such examples in the Bible that show this clearly, but now let's look at Mark 12:
Mark 12:1-9 "1 And he began to speak unto them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and digged a place for the winefat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country. 2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty. 4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. 5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some. 6 Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son. 7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. 8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard. 9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others."
Here we see the plan of salvation symbolised. In the end the owner sends His own dear Son...again there are only two major players in this story, God the Father who sends His own dear Son. Only two.