Christians, Jews, and Muslims all hold Abraham in high regard as the “Father” of their faith. Jesus, however, was clear that Abraham’s faith was in Him. Jesus says in John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”
In Genesis 12:7 we read, “The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring [seed] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.” Who is this “seed”? It is Jesus Christ. The seed was first mentioned in Genesis 3:15 as Jesus who would defeat Satan. Second, the singular use of “seed” in Genesis 12:7 also refers to the individual person Jesus just as it did in Genesis 3:15.
The plural use of “seeds” can be found in Genesis 13:13-17 to represent the nation of Israel (other translations may use “descendants” or “offspring”). Furthermore, Galatians 3:15-16 says, “Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.”
God promised that Abraham would have a son through whom Jesus would come. And, after waiting for twenty-five years Abraham’s wife finally gave birth to Isaac. Genesis 22 tell us when Isaac was likely a young man, God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his own son. And, just before he murdered his son with the knife in the air above him, the angel of the Lord (again likely Jesus) called to Abraham from Heaven commanding him not to harm his son. God then provided a ram to be sacrificed. And, the angel of the Lord again spoke from Heaven reiterating God’s covenant promises to give Abraham descendants, land, and blessing to all nations of the earth.
The comparisons between this account and the death of Jesus are many. Here are a few:
- Isaac and Jesus were both sons of a promise that was given many years before their birth
- Isaac and Jesus were both born to women who could not have conceived apart from a miracle
- Isaac and Jesus were both firstborn sons
- Isaac and Jesus were both greatly loved by their father/Father
- Isaac carried his own wood to the sacrifice just as Jesus carried His own wooden cross to his crucifixion
- Isaac and Jesus each willingly laid down their lives to their father/Father
- Isaac and Jesus were both laid down as a burnt offering for sin
- Isaac was brought back from the dead figuratively and Jesus was brought back from the dead literally
What correlation between Isaac and Jesus is most interesting or surprising to you?