My Bible History, OT 12 – The Sacrifice of Isaac

The Sacrifice of IsaacAbraham and Sara were at last given a son whom they named Isaac. They loved him with all their hearts, because he had been sent as God had promised, to gladden them in their old age.

Abraham loved Isaac so much that God decided to prove whether he did not care more for his son than for his God. To prove Abraham’s faith, God one night commanded him, “Take Isaac and go to a mountain that I shall show you. There offer Me your son as a sacrifice.”

Abraham’s heart was filled with grief. But he had always obeyed God, and he wanted to continue obeying him. Therefore he prepared to do what God asked.

Abraham cut wood for the sacrifice. With two servants and his son, he set out to find the place that God would show him for the sacrifice.

Abraham and his companions traveled for three days until they came to the foot of a mountain, Mount Moriah. Abraham said to his servants. “Remain here with the ass. Isaac and I shall go up the mountain to sacrifice. Wait for our return.”

Abraham placed the wood upon the shoulders of Isaac. He himself carried the fire, and a knife. Then he and Isaac went up the mountain. As they ascended, Isaac inquired, “Father, we have fire and wood. But where is the victim for the sacrifice?”

“God will furnish a victim for the sacrifice,” Abraham replied.

Finally they came to the place for the sacrifice. Making an altar, they arranged the wood on it. Then Abraham bound Isaac and laid him upon the wood. With knife upraised, he was on the point of sacrificing Isaac when an angel called, “Abraham, do not kill your son. God knows now that you truly love Him, for you are ready to sacrifice Isaac at His command.”

How happy Abraham was! Looking around, he saw a sheep caught by the horns in some bushes. He took the sheep and offered him to God as a sacrifice instead of Isaac his son.

Isaac willingly carrying the wood up Mount Moriah is a figure of Jesus Christ carrying His Cross, as the willing divine Victim about to be offered up in sacrifice upon it.

– from My Bible History in Pictures, by Bishop Louis LaRavoire Morrow, D.D., 1934; it has the Imprimatur of Archbishop Michael J O’Doherty of Manila, Philippines