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.

Posted in Lamb, prophecy, sacrifice

Did Jesus perform sacrifices at the Temple?

I was asked a good question by a friend. I like questions. They send me searching into the Bible and I spend happy moments or hours delving into the mysteries of God in the Bible to unearth a Spirit-filled answer. The question was, did Jesus offer animal sacrifices at the Temple, even though HE was going to be the sacrifice? And was sinless?

After some thought and biblical research, this was my answer. As for Jesus offering animal sacrifices, I am not personally aware of any scene in the Bible that depicts this, but I am pretty sure that He did. How can I be pretty sure?

First, Jesus lived the Law perfectly–

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Mt 5:17)

Though the Bible does not offer extensive information about the early or childhood life of Jesus, there are a few glimpses of Jesus and His keeping of the Law. We know his parents Joseph and Mary kept the Law, and they taught Jesus to do the same. The pair came to the temple on the 8th day after Jesus birth to fulfill the Law of Moses (Luke 2:21-22).

Skip forward to a few years, we know the family went up to Jerusalem to fulfill the Law concerning the festivals. (Luke 2:41-42). And Jesus was submissive to his parents in all things [according to the Commandment honor thy parents]. (Luke 2:51)

Jesus was baptized, certainly He did not need to go through a ritual that represented repentance and cleansing from sin! But He did.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21).

This means that God treated Jesus AS a sinner, even though He was not.

So therefore we can extrapolate that He likely also performed sacrifices when He came to the proper age. If He didn’t do sacrifices, He would not have fulfilled the Law as Matthew recorded Jesus statement. Animal sacrifices foreshadowed Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf and Jesus performing the sacrifices was still a picture of that, until the cross and the torn veil in the Temple.

Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29b).

Posted in encouragement, holy, Lamb

Be ye reconciled to God

And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Genesis 22:7-8)

The Sacrifice of Isaac is a familiar chapter to most Christians. We study it in Sunday School, it’s taught in VBS, we read it familiarly as mature Christians, our eyes having passed over the verses many times.

But sometimes the gravity of the moment just grabs you and won’t let go. The Father DID provide the Lamb for the sacrifice. The grandest, most beautiful, most terrible moment in all of history or ever shall be, was the death of Jesus on the Cross at Calvary.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

Ambassadors have all the authority of the sending nation behind them. As Christ’s ambassadors, we have all the authority of heaven behind us!

Sometimes just thinking about how Jesus died for us and absorbed the wrath that was rightfully due me, is overwhelming. Sometimes thinking of how despite my craven sinful nature, God cleaned me and forgave me. Sometimes thinking of the fact that God uses me, a poor clay vessel, for His glory, is just too immense for my mind to absorb.

The Christian journey is sometimes not easy, and it is always demanding, but it is also the most joyous and entrancing life a person could ever imagine. If you have not turned to Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, sins that incur the wrath of a Holy God against you every minute of every day, please do it. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth split history. The event divided the world into two paths. One is narrow and leads to everlasting life. The other path is broad and many find it, and will descend to hell for everlasting wrath.

The Father did provide the Lamb. And He is exalted.

The Lamb Exalted
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.” (Revelation 5:11-13)

Posted in encouragement, Lamb, sing

The Lamb is worthy- we sing a new song!

The Lamb is Worthy
…8When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. (Revelation 5:8-9)

A new song?

Public Domain

The word song in this verse, in the Greek is ōdḗ  and it means just that, a song. Strong’s 5603 (ōdḗ) is defined, “in the NT of spontaneous, impromptu (unrehearsed) melodies of praise – not merely sung about (for) God but to God from a Spirit-filled heart. Spirit-inspired songs minister to God and exhort others, giving testimony about the living God to other worshipers.”

In his verse-by-verse exposition of Revelation, Oliver B. Greene says,

There is no song recorded in the book of Genesis. The Patriarchs were men of seriousness and deep thought. The first song on earth of which we have any record, is found in Exodus 15. The deliverance which had been wrought for Israel (Exodus 14) formed the theme and material for the song (Exodus 15:1-19) and the refrain (Exodus 15:21).

The old song is God’s celebrated song of creation (Job 38:7). The song here in Revelation is termed “a new song” because its theme, Redemption, when fully accomplished, will create “all things new.” In the end, all things will be new, all evil and old things as a result of sin will be put down, put away, totally destroyed.

It is the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb (Revelation 15:3). The song celebrates God’s past ways with Israel and His present grace through the Lamb slain. Grand as might have been the song of Israel when sung on the eastern bank of the Red Sea, this song in its character and the occasion when it is sung, is incomparably greater. There is no comparison between the old song of Israel and this new song of Redemption. THE REDEEMED (Jew and Gentile, bond and free, rich and poor) SING OF HIM AND TO HIM! They sing, “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open its seals.”

He is so worthy! Sing of His worthiness!

Furhter Reading

The Spirit Filled Song, devotional by John MacArthur

Posted in Lamb, winepress, wrath

The Wrath of the Lamb


Put in the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
for the winepress is full.
The vats overflow,
for their evil is great.
Nicolas Bataille, tapestry, Angers Apocalypse, 1377

Multitudes, multitudes,

in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.
The Lord roars from Zion,
and utters his voice from Jerusalem,
and the heavens and the earth quake.
But the Lord is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the people of Israel. (Joel 3:13-16)


Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, 
 and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, 
and a sharp sickle in his hand. 
And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud,
“Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, 
and the earth was reaped. 
(Revelation 14:14-16)

The happiest words to me in the bible are “He is not here. He is risen!” (Matthew 28:6). O, what joy to proclaim our Savior perfect and ascended!

The saddest words to me are “the earth was reaped.” The simplicity of the words are startling, he put in his sickle…and the earth was reaped. Just. Like. That. Wow.

Our Jesus is holy and loving. But He is just. He will bring justice to the earth one day, and soon, I think, and take vengeance on those who mocked, scoffed, persecuted, and blasphemed HIS HOLY NAME.

It is all well and good to focus on the love of Jesus. But not to the exclusion of His Righteousness, His Justice, His Holiness…and His Wrath. This essay is my part in reminding us all of some of the attributes fellow Christians seldom focus upon. But in failing to ponder them, we result in a skewed view of Jesus, and fail to appreciate the love He has for us all the more. We also fail to have urgency in speaking of Him and in being living Ambassadors for His name to the lost.

So think about wrath and justice for a while. It does a heart good.

Will that day be tomorrow? Will that day be today? Will that day be next week? Only God knows when He will tell His Son to get His Bride so the wrath can begin. Only He knows after that when the Tribulation will begin the vengeance and wrath. But our Jesus is not only love. He is wrath. Never forget it.