The Offering of Isaac - Part 2
In this month's Scarlet Thread column, we take a look at the offering of Isaac and the Messianic implications that event holds. But now I'd like to take another look at the event, from just a little different perspective.
Before we delve into the passage, I'd like to state that I firmly believe that God does nothing without first telling His people and that in Scripture He has provided a wealth of information regarding everything we could ever need to know if we only search them out - including the event that has come to be known as the rapture, which is what we are exploring in this column.
In Genesis 22 we find an account of God testing Abraham's faith by asking him to offer his son of promise, Isaac, as a burnt offering to the Lord. One day the Lord tells Abraham to take his son, whom he loves, to the region of Moriah, to the place where the Lord will show him, and offer Isaac as a burnt offering. We can assume that Abraham is immediately obedient in his heart and from that instant Isaac is as good as dead to him. The following morning Abraham leaves with Isaac and two of his servants, to the place the Lord had appointed for the sacrifice. On the third day they arrived at the location, Abraham and Isaac ascend the mountain, Isaac is bound and placed on the altar and the Lord stops Abraham before Isaac is killed. So you could say that from the moment of Abraham's obedience to the time that Isaac was restored to him alive, three days passed.
It is also interesting to note that once the Lord stays Abraham's hand, Isaac is not mentioned again until Genesis 24:62, when he looks up during his evening meditation and sees his bride coming to him. So, we have Isaac, dead to his father for three days, restored to life. But once he is restored to life he isn't mentioned again for quite some time. Let's take a look at what is mentioned during Isaac's “absence.”
After Abraham offers the ram that was caught in the brambles as a sacrifice to God in place of Isaac, he returns to his servants at the bottom of the mount and they return home. In Genesis 23 we see the account of Sarah's death and burial. Then in Genesis 24 we see a beautiful picture of what happens in the life of every believer in Messiah, and, I believe, what will happen to the body of Messiah as a whole.
We begin with Abraham speaking to one of his servants. The servant remains unnamed in the text, but it is generally accepted that it was Eliezer (which means “help”) who was chosen for this all important task. Abraham sends his servant to go and find a willing bride for his son. The servant goes and does as he is asked. After giving God very specific details about how he will know he has found the right bride for his master's son, the servant finds just the right woman. He then showers her with gifts and brings her back home to introduce her to his master's son. Now let's jump ahead from the time of Abraham to the time of Yeshua.
In the gospel accounts we see that Yeshua willingly laid down His life, becoming the perfect acceptable sacrifice that whosoever believes in Him and accepts the atonement He made for us will be spared from eternal separation from God. He was sacrificed on the very hill where Abraham built his altar to God to offer up his son. It was on that very hill that Yeshua, seen as the Angel of the Lord, stayed Abraham's hand, sparing the life of Isaac that the promises of God could be fulfilled through him and his offspring. And on that very hill Yeshua, the offspring of Abraham and Isaac, was plunged into the darkness of death on our behalf.
For three days His body lay dead. Then, on the third day, He was resurrected from the dead and restored to His Father - just as Isaac was. After showing Himself to His disciples and a vast number of other witnesses, Yeshua returned to His Father and is awaiting the arrival of His bride. Now, during this time between His resurrection and His physical introduction to His bride, the Holy Spirit (also known as our Helper) has been given to us. The Holy Spirit has been sent by the Father to find those who are willing to become the bride of the Son. When He finds these individuals, the Holy Spirit showers us with gifts from the Father and prepares us for the meeting we will one day have with our Bridegroom. What a wonderful day that will be!
So, is the account of the offering of Isaac and the events that follow a foreshadowing of things to come - not only pointing to Yeshua offering up His own life for a sacrifice for us, but also showing us the pattern that God is following in selecting and preparing His Son's bride? Or is it merely a coincidence? I invite you to search the Scriptures to find out for yourself!