Read: Genesis 22

Genesis 22 is another one of those chapters in the Genesis record that everyone should know. Several thematic elements in this chapter point us to the Lord Jesus. First, note that God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son in the land of Moriah. That command has significant markers pointing to the necessity of sacrifice, as God would specify in Exodus and throughout the Bible. Mt. Moriah is the key identifier as it is where the Temple of Solomon was built (See. 2 Chron. 3:1). The Tabernacle, and later, the temple, was the throne of God on earth. There, his people would come to worship him, offer sacrifices to him, and have their sins atoned through the shedding of the blood of an animal. The command to Abraham sets the stage for the events that will take place in this chapter.

Second, note the obedience of the servant of the Lord. In chapter 21, we witnessed God’s faithfulness to Abraham and Isaac in giving a son of his seed who would carry the covenant line forward. Many years later (Isaac was probably a young man at this point in the narrative), God gives a command to end the life of the covenant seed. Note the expression, “Take your son, your only son…” That expression has clear New Testament connections applied to the Lord Jesus Christ (See Matt. 3:17; 17:5; John 3:16; Eph. 1:6; 2 Pet. 1:17). Earlier, we saw how God credited Abraham with righteousness because of his faith alone. “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6). Now we see Abraham’s faith in action. James refers to this even in James 2:14-26. Third, we note the substitutionary atonement of the LORD when he replaces Isaac with the ram. That, of course, pictures the Passover Lamb’s willingness to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of his people. Though we should have been sacrificed for our sins, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). The chapter closes with another ratification of the covenant promise.

Learn: The importance of Mt. Moriah (see 2 Chron. 3:1)

Application: Substitutionary atonement is a critical doctrine of the Christian faith. Through the work of Christ, our substitute, we avoid the wrath of God and the due consequences of our sin.

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