Isaac As A Type of Christ: Hebrews 11:17-19
“17) By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18) it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” 19) He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type.” Hebrews‬ ‭11:17-19‬ ‭
We now have reference to Genesis 22 and the story of Abraham offering up Isaac. When God called he obeyed without hesitation. Why? He held to the promise that his descendants would be named through Isaac.
By this point in his life, Abraham trusted 100% in the character of God. He knew that God was a promise keeping God. If need be, he believed God would raise Isaac from the dead. In fact, he was so confident that he was going to return with Isaac, that he most likely decided not to mention the small detail of God asking him to sacrifice his son to Sarah. Had he disclosed that small detail to Sarah, he may have been to beat up to go on the journey.
It is at this point in Hebrews 11:19 that we are introduced to the concept of “types.” Isaac became a “type” of Christ. A type goes beyond an illustration. For example, Isaac carried the wood to the place of sacrifice just as Christ carried His own cross to His place of crucifixion. Isaac was bound and put on the altar just as Christ was bound to the cross. Isaac willfully submitted to his father, just as Jesus voluntarily submitted to His Father. Isaac was the only son of Abraham and Sarah, just as Jesus was God’s only begotten Son.
Some scholars claim that the place of the sacrifice was the same place where Jesus was eventually crucified. If that is true, they walked up the lonely hill of Golgotha. Notice Abrahams servants stayed behind at a distance, just as the disciples of Jesus stayed behind during his scourging and crucifixion. The many parallels are more than coincidence.
Another key is found in Genesis 22:8. When Isaac asked his father about the sacrifice, Abraham replied; “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the sacrifice.” Some Hebrew scholars believe it could be translated; “God will provide Himself as the lamb for the sacrifice.” But the typology continues. When Abraham saw the ram, it was caught by its horns in a thorn bush just as Jesus years later wore a crown of thorns on His head.
Even the substitution of the ram in place of Isaac was a picture of Jesus dying on the cross in place of sinful humanity. The whole gospel is illustrated in this amazing story. There is even mention of Abraham believing in a resurrection in Hebrews 11:19. The mention of God raising Him from the dead makes the gospel complete.
I especially like the emphasis on “faith” in this text. Salvation is by “grace through faith.” The gospel must be received by faith.
There were many types of Christ in the Old Testament. The book of Hebrews previously presented Melchizedek as a type of Christ. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible constantly points to Jesus Christ as both Creator and Savior of mankind. Your eternity will be based on your view and response to Jesus Christ. Have you placed your faith in Him?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global