Today, we finish looking at Genesis chapter 22. Remember what we looked at last time. We had the monumental event of Abraham’s life. God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar as a burnt offering. This whole situation was not for God, as if he needs anything, but it was planned for Abraham and us. We needed to learn about the great doctrine of substitution.
The doctrine of substitution says that Jesus Christ stood in our place, he took the punishment for us that we deserved. He became sin who knew no sin. James Smith said about this idea, “The scene on Mount Moriah, as typical of the greater scene on Mount Calvary, could scarcely have been perfect without the thought of substitution being made prominent. The figure now changes. The ram becomes the burnt-offering, and the submissive one goes free. You observe this sacrifice was provided by God. We have still Jesus before us, not as the Son now, but as the Substitute of one condemned to die. Man found a Cross for Christ, but it was God who found the Ransom…Ask Isaac, as he gazes on the ram burning in his stead if he believes in substitution.”
We also saw in that passage a picture of resurrection. Hebrews 11 explains. “[Abraham] considered that God was able even to raise [Isaac] from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.” Abraham knew what the promise was and he knew what God had also said. He did not consider that God contradicted himself. To the eyes of the flesh and the world, the commands of God seem to oppose each other, to the eyes of faith, there is beautiful harmony. Abraham knew that if he did kill Isaac, Isaac must rise from the dead to fulfill God’s promise. And so, figuratively speaking, Isaac was a good as dead but God’s substitution brought him back from the dead.
So, after learning some amazing truths about God’s plan of salvation or how the seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s head, we are now ready to hear the conclusion to this story.
The text we have before us naturally breaks down into two main parts. Verses 15-19 explain what happened immediately after Abraham sacrifices the ram that God provided in place of Isaac. The second section is verses 20-24 we are told of someone we haven’t talked about in a long time, Abraham’s brother Nahor.