D-Now was this past weekend at our church. It was an incredible three days, with Parker Smith sharing the Gospel and with the All-star Praise Band (my unofficial title) leading in worship. The Holy Spirit moved and many were effected, including the parents who attended. I was fortunate to be one of those parents and thankful for experience.
On Friday night, Parker shared the gospel and talked about Abraham and Isaac. Right in the middle of the service I was struck by the idea of the upheld hand of Abraham with the knife raised, ready to sacrifice his only son and the thought of the Roman soldiers upheld hand with the hammer that would drive the spikes into Jesus. It literally made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. No small feat considering I had just had my neck shaved.
I shared this with some of the guys there and Dale Davis began to list the incredible similarities between Isaac and Jesus. Here are some of them, and by no means is this a complete or comprehensive list. Research it yourself and see what you come up with.
- Jesus and Isaac were both conceived in different but divine ways. Jesus conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit and Isaac conceived in Sarah at the spry young age of 90.
- God named both of them before they were born.
- A donkey was used to carry the wood that Abraham would use to build the alter for sacrificing Isaac. Jesus would enter Jerusalem triumphantly on a donkey.
- They would both go to the same mountain. Isaac to Mt. Moriah, Jesus to Mt. Calvary (Mt. Zion).
- Each would be with two others. Two servants would accompany Abraham and Isaac to the mountain. Two thieves would hang on crosses beside Jesus.
- Isaac would carry the wood for the alter up the mountain. Jesus would carry the cross up to Mt. Calvary.
- Both would be bound to wood for sacrifice. Isaac to the wooden alter, Jesus to the wooden cross.
- Both were obedient to their Father’s wishes.
- Both questioned their Father.
- Thorns was also shared. The thicket of thorns held the ram that would take the place of Isaac. Christ would have a crown of thorns placed on his head.
- Blood was shared in both situations. A ram was sacrificed in place of Isaac. Jesus would shed his own blood to cover the cost of our sins.
- Isaac was released from the sacrifice on the third day of the journey. Jesus would rise from the dead, conquering death on the third day.
But there is one glaring, incredible difference even with all of the similarities.
God told Abraham to “STOP” as he raised the knife above Isaac to sacrifice him.
“’Do not lay a hand on the boy,’ he said. ‘Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.’” Genesis 22:12 (NIV).
God did not stop the Roman soldiers. I don’t believe that thought even occurred to Him. I do wonder in my limited mind, if God remembered what He said to Abraham as the nails were driven into the body of His son?
What an incredible difference. What a lifesaving, salvation giving difference. One hand He stopped, the other He willed to do its deed. All because He loves us more than we can ever understand or imagine.
“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals – one on his right, the other on his left.” Luke 23:32 & 33 (NIV).
One hand stopped and many nations were created. The other hand destined to do its purpose and salvation came for all.
Run to the cross!