Most of us are familiar with the story of the Lord instructing Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. It is found in Genesis chapter 22. This story contains so many foreshadows that I may forget to list all of them.
Abraham took Isaac, the child of promise, to the mountains of Moriah where he built an altar, tied Isaac, placed him on the altar and prepared to sacrifice Isaac as the Lord had instructed him. The angel of the Lord stopped Abraham as he raised the knife to sacrifice his son. A ram was entangled by the horns in a nearby thicket and was substituted as the sacrifice. The Lord did not intend for Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, but was testing him. The Lord foreknew that Abraham would offer to sacrifice his son.
Here we have the picture of God, the Father, sacrificing His Son, the Child of Ultimate Promise. While Abraham is a type of God, Isaac is a type of Jesus. Jewish tradition, according to Josephus the historian, tells us that Isaac was about thirty years old at this time. This, of course, is close to the same age as Jesus when He was crucified. Isaac was not a child. He willingly allowed his father to perform whatever was necessary, just as Jesus went to the Cross willingly. As confirmation of his age, Isaac carried the wood for the sacrificial fire. A child could not carry that much wood.
Scripture says they went to the mountains of Moriah. According to Josephus, they went to Mount Moriah. If this is correct, Abraham offered Isaac on the very mountain where, one thousand years later, the Temple of the Lord was built by Solomon and where offerings were sacrificed to the Lord. Even more importantly, Calvary, or Golgotha, is geologically a part of the same mountain. This is where the ultimate sacrifice was made.
Isaac asked his father, "where is the sacrifice?" Abraham replied that, "God Himself will provide the lamb." Jesus was the Lamb, sacrificed on the same mountain two thousand years later. The ram caught by the horns in the thicket was a substitute. Jesus was our substitute and the Crown of Thorns is foreshadowed by the briars that were probably in the thicket that entangled the ram.
The 22nd , and last, letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the Tav. Originally, I am told, the Tav was in the form of an "X" or a cross. This, too, is an interesting picture. The Cross represents the ultimate sacrifice. Just as the Tav is the last letter, there is no further need for sacrifice. This story, which foreshadows the Cross of Jesus, is in the 22nd chapter of Genesis. Another story of the Cross is in the 22nd Psalm. If you have not read it with this in mind, please do so and be amazed.
Four thousand years ago the Lord tested Abraham and gave us the type, picture, or foreshadow of the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus is the Lamb. Praise the Name of Jesus. Give God all the glory humanly possible.