Sunday May 20th 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Forty Five
1). Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, "In Isaac your seed shall be called," 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.
a). As we begin today let?s spend a short time reviewing some of what we had looked at last week so that we can pick up our theme for our continuing study this week ? And so - we had seen last week that verse 17 of Hebrews Chapter 11 takes us back to the same thing pictured in Hebrews Chapter 11:4. In 11:4 we see ? Heb 11:4 ? By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
b). Abel?s offering speaks of death and shed blood and the offering of Isaac seen in v17 speaks of exactly the same thing ? death and shed blood.
c). As we move through the sequence of events begun by v4 and Abel we come, at the end of the sequence, v8, to a new beginning pictured in Abraham leaving Ur of the Chaldeans, the land of his birth, to go to the land he was to receive as an inheritance and in v19 we see a new beginning again pictured in the ?figurative? resurrection of Isaac on the third day ? both these new beginnings pointing of course to that coming third day, which is also the 7th Day, when both Israel and the Church will receive their inheritance as they enter the Millennial Kingdom with Christ.
d). We also saw how the events referenced in v17-19 find their full account in Genesis Chapter 22 and how this Chapter as a whole forms a type of the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ.
e). And we also noted that Genesis Chapter 22 is part of a sequence of 5 chapters that must be viewed together; 5 chapters that present a complete history of Israel and the Church from the birth of Israel?s Messiah to the time when Israel?s Messiah restores the land to the nation and the nation to the land.
f). We had seen how this sequence of Chapters begins with Genesis Chapter 21 with the miraculous birth of Isaac at a time set by God that
pictured the miraculous birth of Christ also at a time set by God - Ga 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Both sons born to a barren woman from a father old in years.
g). In Chapter 22, as we have noted, we see the offering of Isaac on a particular mountain in the land of Moriah, picturing the sacrifice of Christ upon the same mountain 2000 years later.
h). And then within the events described in this Chapter we see the most extraordinary details that carry us back to the council chambers of God, to decisions and determinations made before the ages were brought into being, and then forward to the cross of Calvary and beyond.
i). Ge 22:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you." 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
j). We had seen that Abraham and Isaac went together to the place of sacrifice, and that they went alone, no one witnessing what took place there ? just as at Calvary Father and Son went together to the place of sacrifice and that from the 6th to the 9th hour darkness covered the land so that no one witnessed the transaction that took place between them.
k). We had noted that the wood Isaac carried was a picture of the cross Christ would carry and how wood in scripture symbolizes humanity, a fallen humanity with a sin nature which made necessary the wood of the sacrifice and the wood of the cross.
l). Abraham carries the fire and the knife which symbolize God?s judgment and the Word of God respectively; demonstrating that sin is always judged by the revealed Word of God. This is exactly what happened at the sacrifice of Isaac and the cross of Calvary and is exactly what will happen with respect to Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ - Re 1:13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
2). As Abraham and Isaac made their way to the place of sacrifice Isaac asks this question - Ge 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?"
a). To which Abraham replies - Ge 22:8 And Abraham said, "My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering." So the two of them went together.
b). Abraham?s statement here cannot be a reference to the ram caught in the thicket as the ram was not visible to either of them at this time. In the immediate context we would have to see Abraham?s words as a reference to Isaac himself as the lamb, the lamb that God had provided. Then beyond the immediate context we would see Abraham?s words looking beyond the offering of Isaac or the ram caught in the thicket to the offering of Abraham?s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
c). We might remember the words of John the Baptist recorded in ?
Joh 1:29 ? The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
d). In these words John not only answers the question asked by Isaac, ?Where is the lamb?..?, but also within the type identifies the One to whom Abraham referred, ?God will provide for Himself a lamb?...? - Not only did God provide the Lamb, but the Lamb was God Himself in the person of His Son.
e). Isaac?s question and Abraham?s answer is one of the most profound interchanges in the Biblical record.
3). Ge 22:9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
a). Isaac in the type, as we see here in our scripture, offered no resistance as he was bound and placed on the altar, on the wood ? he willingly allowed himself to be the sacrifice and we can only conclude that he did this ?by faith?.
b). Then in the antitype, the Lord Jesus, God?s only begotten Son whom He loved, offered no resistance as He moved towards the events Calvary. He willingly endured the cross, allowing Himself to be the sacrifice that would put away sin. And we may remember what the scripture records as commentary on His actions -Heb 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
4). Ge 22:10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 ? But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
a). As Abraham stretched out his hand to slay his son he is stopped by ?the Angel of the Lord? and a ram caught in a thicket [a picture of Christ with the crown of thorns] was offered in Isaac?s place ? the wages of sin, which is death was satisfied via the death of a substitute ? the ram.
b). And then in the antitype, that exists in its finished form even today, the wages of sin, which is death have been satisfied by the death of The Substitute. God provided for Himself a Lamb, just as He had provided the ram in the thicket ? God Himself manifest in the flesh in the person of His Son has paid the required price to atone for man?s sin, and God is completely satisfied with the price His Son has paid - Ro 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
c). Any human being, within the last 2000 years can either receive Jesus Christ who paid the wages of sin on their behalf or that person can pay the penalty themselves ? The Lamb has died, but the death of the Lamb is insufficient without the proper application of the blood - Ex 12:12 'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 'Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
d). The price has been paid, but that which the Lord has accomplished must be received by the individual ? the blood must be applied - Ac 16:30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
5). Ge 21:12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.
a). Abraham had the promise from God that ?in Isaac your seed shall be called?. But from the time that Abraham left Ur of the Chaldeans, God waited 30 years to give Abraham the son of promise and it was another 30 years or so before God then commanded Abraham to offer his son as a burnt offering.
b). In the intervening years God reaffirmed the original promise given in Ur of the Chaldeans on several occasions. Consequently Abraham understood that God could not leave Isaac in the place of death and, at the same time, fulfill His promise. Abraham knew that God would have to raise Isaac from the dead to fulfill His promise ? which is exactly what we see recorded in v19 of our opening scripture this morning.
c). Now apart from this we must also realize that Abraham understood a great deal about the prophetic significance of the offering of his son on Mount Moriah. There is an intriguing scripture in Galatians that opens this to us ?
Ga 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed."
d). Notice the part of our verse which is underlined ? the gospel was preached to Abraham beforehand and this gospel had to do with the justification of the Gentiles ?by faith?.
e). Because of what we see recorded in our scripture from Galatians we would know that the complete gospel was preached to Abraham ? from justification to blessings ? that which would encompass death, burial and resurrection ? the complete panorama of the gospel message - 1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
f). And of course that which is contained in resurrection has to do with events of the 3rd Day, which is also the 7th Day, just as we see in ?
1Pe 1:3 ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time????9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
g). We can do nothing else but conclude that Abraham knew and understood that the events of his day pointed to and foreshadowed the events
of a coming day, and this knowledge he possessed would probably cover the events that begin in Genesis Chapter 21 through Genesis Chapter 25.
h). Perhaps in all this we can see why he had the certainty of Isaac?s resurrection.
6). Let?s just note the words of Hebrews 11:17 again for a moment ?
Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
a). From God?s perspective Abraham actually offered up his son, and then to complete the type Isaac was raised from the dead on the 3rd day. We will remember from Genesis 22:4 that it was on the 3rd day that Abraham ?lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off? ? and so from the perspective of the type Isaac had been dead for 2 days and was raised from the dead on the 3rd day.
b). Ge 22:14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, "In the Mount of The LORD it shall be provided."
God provided a ram and the ram was to be slain in order that Isaac might live ? not only then do we have a substitutionary atonement, but we also have resurrection. The ram not only died in Isaac?s place, but the ram also died so that Isaac, who was looked upon by God as dead at this point, could live. The picture contained in this for ourselves with respect to the antitype will I think be an obvious one - 2Ti 2:11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.
c). Ro 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
7). Ge 22:19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
a). Although we know from an earlier verse from our chapter that Isaac did return with Abraham from the mountain, there is no mention made if it here in our scripture.
b). So what we are seeing here is that God is careful with the recorded details given so as to preserve the overall type seen in Genesis Chapters 21-25.
c). Within the Biblical record we don?t see Isaac again until ?
Ge 24:62 ? Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted
his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. 64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel;
d). This is when Isaac goes out to meet his bride and in the Biblical chronology this event comes after the death of Sara in Chapter 23 and the completion of the search for a bride made by Abraham?s oldest servant in Chapter 24, and comes immediately before Abraham remarries in Chapter 25.
e). All of this wonderful detail foreshadows the actions of Christ in the antitype.
f). Following His resurrection, just as we see with Isaac, Christ is removed from the scene into heaven, and Christ will not be seen again until He goes forth to meet His Bride in ?the evening?, at the end of this present dispensation. And this of course is preceded by the setting aside of Israel pictured in the death of Sara in Genesis Chapter 23; the completion of the Holy Spirit?s search for the Bride pictured in Genesis Chapter 24; and immediately before the restoration of Israel pictured in Genesis Chapter 25.
g). The way in which God has laid this out is just remarkable to see.
h). Ps 119:49 ? ZAYIN. Remember the word to Your servant, Upon which You have caused me to hope.
8). Ge 23:1 ? Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. 2 So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.
a). Following on then from the offering of Isaac, Genesis Chapter 23 deals with the death of Sara, picturing for us the setting aside of Israel with respect to the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens, the offer that Christ comes to the nation with at His first advent.
b). We know that through unbelief the nation rejects this offer resulting in the offer being withdrawn from Israel and given to a new nation, the Church.
c). The setting aside of Israel is spelt out in - Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
d). And then brought to its conclusion as seen in - Ac 28:25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers,
26 "saying, 'Go to this people and say: "Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; 27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they
should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them."' 28 "Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!"
e). Now the nation that would bear ?the fruits of it? would be a new nation that at the time of Christ?s words recorded in Matthew had not yet been brought into existence, but would be brought into existence following the Lord?s resurrection. We are of course talking about the Church, all those who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for eternal salvation during the course of this dispensation.
d). And just as the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens had been made to the eternally saved nation of Israel, so the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens continues to be made to the new nation, to the eternally saved of this dispensation; which brings us to the next chapter in Genesis, Chapter 24.
9). Ge 24:1 ? Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. 2 So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please, put your hand under my thigh,
3 "and I will make you swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell; 4 "but you shall go to my country and to my family, and take a wife for my son Isaac." 5 And the servant said to him, "Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?" 6 But Abraham said to him, "Beware that you do not take my son back there.
a). Abraham?s oldest servant typifies the Holy Spirit who was sent on the Day of Pentecost following the Lord?s resurrection to begin the search for a Bride for God?s Son from amongst the family of God.
b). Ge 24:10 ? Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and departed, for all his master's goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.
c). In the type Abraham?s oldest servant takes all his master?s goods, that would be his son?s inheritance, pictured in the 10 camels, in order to reveal these goods to the potential bride - Ge 24:53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and to her mother.
d). And we see that exactly the same scenario exists in the antitype. We will no doubt remember the Lord?s words to His disciples recorded in ?
Joh 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears
He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 "All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
e). 1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
f). Just as with Abraham?s oldest servant the Holy Spirit has revealed and continues to reveal ?His Master?s goods? to the prospective Bride through the revelation of the Word. And although such a revelation is available to all Christians, not all Christians will either see it or receive it.
g). Ge 24:13 "Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14 "Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, 'Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink' -let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master." 15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder.
h). The well of water to which Rebekah comes pictures for us the Word of God and it will be those Christians whose desire is to plumb the depths of this Word under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, whereby spiritual things are compared with spiritual things, who may potentially make up the Bride of Christ. But just as we see in our type there is an individual decision to be made in respect of this - Ge 24:58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
i). But for those Christians who make that decision and then follow it through to its conclusion there is a glorious ending which is also a glorious beginning - Ge 24:61 Then Rebekah and her maids arose, and they rode on the camels and followed the man. So the servant took Rebekah and departed. 62 ? Now Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he dwelt in the South. 63 And Isaac went out to meditate in the field in the evening; and he lifted his eyes and looked, and there, the camels were coming. 64 Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; 65 for she had said to the servant, "Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." So she took a veil and covered herself. 66 And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. 67 Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
j). Re 19:6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready." 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
10). And so we will continue from here next week, if the Lord is willing.