Moriah, Golgotha and the Garden Tomb

Chapter 1: Mount Moriah (Genesis 22) - Part C

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As he walked from the Platform to the Peak, Isaac carried on his shoulders the wood that would form the altar, upon which he would be sacrificed. Just like Isaac, Jesus had to carry the wood on which He would be sacrificed. He carried His Cross up the same hill to the Peak of Moriah (John 19:17). He went voluntarily to lay down His life.

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Likewise, Jesus was tried and sentenced to death before Pilate at the Antonia Fortress, where Pilate was staying to keep the peace at Passover time. You can see the Fortress at the left-hand corner of the Temple Mount. Therefore Jesus, the Greater than Isaac, started His walk to the Peak of Moriah from the very same place as Isaac. From the northern part of the Temple Platform, Jesus ascended to the summit of Moriah, just as Isaac did 2000 years before.

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Genesis 22:6b: “and (Abraham) took the fire in his hand.” God released His consuming Fire of Judgement upon Jesus on the Cross. 

Genesis 22:6c: “and a knife.” 
Jesus was pierced and His blood flowed for us. 

Genesis 22:6d: “and they went both together.” 
Only Abraham and his son, Isaac went to the top. They left the others behind. In the same way, the Father and the Son went together to the Cross for us. Only they could truly participate in the terrible, but necessary inner realities of what took place on the Cross. 
They were working together for our Salvation (2 Corinthians 5:19). 

Genesis 22:7: “But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father 
and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” 
Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, 
but where is the LAMB for a burnt offering?” 

Genesis 22:8: “And Abraham said: “My son, GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF THE LAMB for a Burnt OFFERING. 
So the two of them went together.” 

The true meaning and impact of these words is missed by most translators. Abraham was not just saying that God would provide ‘a lamb’, but that He would provide THE LAMB. ‘The Lamb’ hints the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God is in view. This declaration was clearly not fulfilled by Isaac, neither was it fulfilled by the RAM, that God initially provided to take Isaac’s place (v13), although this certainly pointed towards and anticipated the fulfilment. Notice that v8 speaks of a LAMB, whereas a different word (‘RAM’), with a different meaning, is used in v13 to describe God’s initial provision. This clearly signifies that v13 is NOT the main fulfilment of v8. 

The real key is why the pronoun ‘Himself’ is included in the sentence. Some just translate it as if it was being used simply for emphasis, i.e: “God HIMSELF will provide the Lamb.” However, HIMSELF is a possessive pronoun, meaning ‘of Himself’ or ‘from Himself.’ Thus Abraham was literally saying: “God will provide FROM HIMSELF THE LAMB for a Burnt Offering.” Thus these were prophetic words, that God will provide Himself to be the Lamb, that is: "God will provide from Himself the Ultimate Sacrifice", or: “God will provide the Lamb from His very own Being." Some translators try to make sense of this by saying: “God will provide FOR HIMSELF the Lamb for a Burnt Offering.” But this is weak, and simply states the obvious, as all offerings are: ‘for God.’ 

Thus Abraham’s words in v8 are a prophecy of the Coming Messiah, when God’s Son Himself would be manifest in the flesh as the Lamb of God! Genesis 22:8 speaks of God’s provision of the Lamb would be ‘of Himself’, in other words: “the Lamb of God.” So when Jesus came onto the scene, John announced Him by saying: “Behold! The Lamb of God” (John 1:29,36). This certainly referred back to the Messiah as the sacrificial Lamb of Isaiah 53 and as the fulfilment of the Passover Lamb of Exodus 12, but ultimately it refers to the fulfilment of Abraham’s Prophecy of Genesis 22:8. In the New Testament, Christ is often described as ‘the Lamb’ in agreement with v8. These words of faith indicate Abraham knew his offering of Isaac looked towards a future event of far greater significance. 

Genesis 22:9: “they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar, and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar on the wood.” 

Abraham must have presented the Divine Plan to his son, and Isaac submitted to it. As a young man, he could easily have escaped. Isaac’s faith and obedience.

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He was a picture of the Greater Son - Jesus, Who said in 
Matthew 26:39: “Father, if possible, let this cup pass from Me: but not as I will, but as You will.” 

Isaac was laid upon the wood of the altar and Abraham was ready to offer him up to God. Jesus, like Isaac, went to His death voluntarily, laying down His life to obediently fulfil God’s Plan, trusting God to raise Him up again (John 10:17; Matthew 26:53).

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Genesis 22:10: “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.” 

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Genesis 22:11: “The Angel of the Lord called out of heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said: “Here I am.” 

Abraham was ready to go through with it, but God did not want that. Abraham had done enough to prove His faithfulness. 

Genesis 22:12: “And He said: “Lay not your hand on the young man, or do anything to him, for now I know you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me.” 

God didn’t contradict Himself here - He had only said Isaac was to be offered in dedication to God and that is exactly what happened. God was interested in his heart. 

The Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament was Jesus, the Son of God. It was Jesus Himself who stopped Abraham, for He was ordained to be God’s Lamb, the One who would take Isaac’s place and die on Mt.Moriah as a Sacrifice. This was just a Dress-Rehearsal for the Ultimate Sacrifice, when God would not withhold His Son from us, but offer Him up for us. This time the Greater Son, Jesus, would really die and rise again. So Jesus, as the Angel of the Lord said to Abraham: “Stop, don’t kill Isaac, because I, Myself, the Lord, the Son of God will be the true Lamb of God, to be offered up as the Ultimate Sacrifice on Mt.Moriah!”

Genesis 22:13: “Then Abraham lifted up his eyes and LOOKED (to see the Angel speaking to him).” At this point, God gave Him a VISION of Jesus, God’s Son, dying on the Cross at that very place! Abraham speaks of this vision in the next verse. Also Jesus said in John 8:56: “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to SEE my day; he SAW it and was glad.” Abraham SAW God’s own Son dying for the sins of the world. Galatians 3:8: “God 

preached the Gospel (Christ’s Death & Resurrection) to Abraham.” 

God then also gave him a Sign of this future provision of a Lamb: 
Genesis 22:13: 
“Then Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold - a RAM caught in a thicket and he went and took it and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.”


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When we are willing to offer all we have to God, then God will open our eyes to see His Provision for us. God had provided a SUBSTITUTE for Isaac - the Ram with his head caught in a thicket, who was a Picture of Christ, Who God provided for us to be OUR Substitute to die on the Cross in our place, as the Ram of God, who also wore a crown of thorns on His head. He died in our place, so that we would not have to die, but live in God’s blessing.

Through this story God was revealing that a Sacrificial Death was necessary for man’s relationship with God to be restored, but that instead of us dying, He would provide a SUBSTITUTE for us. Initially and provisionally, He would accept a suitable animal as a SUBSTITUTE for a man’s death. 

So, this Sacrifice on Mt.Moriah became the founding Sacrifice and archetype for the whole animal Sacrificial System that God gave to Israel. All these Sacrifices had to take place at the Temple on Mt.Moriah, because of their connection to this original Sacrifice which had set Mt.Moriah apart for this purpose. God’s choice of the Mount and Abraham’s obedience had sanctified the Mount for the fulfilment of God’s Redemptive Purposes. All the Temple sacrifices were expressions of Abraham’s original Sacrifice on Mount Moriah. 

Moreover, these sacrifices were all prophetic pictures pointing forward to their fulfilment in Christ’s Ultimate and Final Sacrifice on Mt.Moriah, when He would be our Substitute and die in our place in order to bring us to God. That’s why Christ also had to die on Mt.Moriah. Animal sacrifices in themselves could never atone, they were preparatory until the time came when God would provide His only begotten Son to be the final Sacrifice, and to be a fulfilment of all that went before. Therefore, it was necessary Christ had to die on the Mount God had set aside for this purpose - Mount Moriah, and we shall see from the New Testament, that this He did exactly that! 

Thus Abraham’s Offering of Isaac is crucial to the whole issue of the location of where Christ died and rose again, because it was the foundational Sacrifice for all the sacrifices that would take place afterwards, including the Ultimate Sacrifice of Christ. 

The RAM, that God originally provided for Abraham as a substitute, was not the ultimate LAMB that God said He would provide (see v8). The RAM was a prophetic Type (Picture) of the true LAMB of God, Jesus, Who would be offered up at that exact place, Moriah’s highest and most holy point. 

Whereas God gave Israel the Temple Mount Platform to do their animal sacrifices, He reserved the highest and most holy point of Mt. Moriah for the Founding Sacrifice (of Isaac and the Ram), as well as for Final Sacrifice of Christ!

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