Posted in isaac, Lamb, old testament, prophecy, sacrifice

Sacrifice of Isaac prefigures Christ: the grace of Old Testament symbols and acts

Genesis 22 has the story of the great test of faith of Abraham. God called to Abraham one day, and Abraham answered “Here I am!” God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, his only son, who Abraham loves. Abraham was to do this on Mt Moriah, a place God initially told Abraham would be a place I will tell you. Not even initially knowing where, Abraham hastened to obey, and the two hiked to the fateful spot.

Theologians have examined this scene and compared it to Christ’s sacrifice so I am certainly not plowing new ground. I have no deeper insights. But in this day and age, with fears and tribulations, and griefs and apostasy, it is always refreshing to keep our eyes on Christ. It is always edifying to see how in the word, the LORD God has it all under control and His plan is unfolding from that day to this in magnificent fashion, and will continue to do so.

Italian Renaissance painter Caravaggio’s depiction of the sacrifice of Isaac.

Comparison of Old Testament texts with New Testament texts. Isaac pre-figures Christ.

click to enlarge

Preparing for Christ’s death

The cross is the epitome of redemptive truth, foreshadowed in the acceptable sacrifice of Abel, foreshadowed in the ark of safety that saved Noah, foreshadowed in the sacrifice provided on Mount Moriah–a ram in the place of Isaac, prefigured in the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, where Moses said, “The Lord is my strength, and my song, and He has become my salvation.” We see the cross foreshadowed in the smitten rock in the wilderness that brought forth water to quench the thirsty people. We see the cross foreshadowed in the Levitical ceremonies, sacrifices and offerings. We see it foreshadowed in the serpent lifted up in the desert for healing. We see it even in Boaz, the kinsman redeemer. We see the cross detailed in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. We see the pierced and wounded Savior in Zechariah, chapter 12–all the way through Scripture. J. MacArthur

Scripture is amazing and wonderful. Read your Bible today.


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.