5. THE TESTING OF ABRAHAM AND ISAAC (2100 BC)

To fulfill His promise of descendants as many as the stars in the sky, God grants Abraham a miraculously conceived son named Isaac. After Isaac had grown, Abraham is instructed to take his son, go to the mountains of Moriah, and offer him as a sacrifice there. Abraham obliges, makes the journey, and places the wood for the sacrifice on his son Isaac. Isaac shoulders the load and carries it up the mountain with his father carrying the fire and the knife to kill the sacrifice. 

As they walk, Isaac asks where the animal for the sacrifice is. Abraham’s response is that God will provide Himself the lamb (Gen 22:8). Once they reach the top, Abraham builds the altar, ties up his son, and draws his knife to sacrifice Isaac. At that moment, an angel stops Abraham and praises his faith because he had not withheld his son, his only son (Gen 22:12) from God. Abraham then spies a ram caught in the thicket by its horns which he sacrifices as a replacement for his son in thanksgiving to God, yet the lamb that Abraham promised that God would provide is suspiciously missing. 

Isaac is a type of Jesus. The mountains of Moriah are the same range in which you find Jerusalem, where Jesus would be crucified. Isaac, the only son of Abraham, had wood for the sacrifice placed on him by his father to carry up the mountain. In the same way Jesus, the only Son of God, bears the wood of the cross up Mount Calvary for His sacrifice for sinners.  Isaac being able to carry the wood up the mountain also shows us that Isaac became a willing participant to his father’s sacrifice, just as Jesus submitted to the Father’s will in His passion and death. A young man who could carry the wood for the altar up a mountain could easily overpower his elderly father. Thus we can surmise Isaac trusted his father and God.

At every mass, right before those present receive the Eucharist, the priest elevates the Body and Blood of Jesus and proclaims the words Behold the Lamb of God; behold him who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). In the Eucharist, the prophecy of Abraham has been fulfilled in our presence. God has provided a Lamb for the sacrifice: His Son, not Isaac. The Son of God who is also the son of Abraham takes on the penalty of sin and spares us, the descendents of Abraham through faith.  We are spared when we partake in the Eucharist, because in our reception, we receive Jesus’ justification into our person, and we enter into His divine life.

Originally published in Prime Soil Magazine | Vol. 1 No. 2

Originally presented at The 10th National Eucharistic Congress in July 2024

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

THE EUCHARISTIC TIMELINE

At the National Eucharistic Congress, Decided Excellence Catholic Media - with the help of Bishop William Waltersheid - will be presenting "Beautiful Revelation: The Eucharistic Timeline". Throughout human history, God has left repeated proof of His presence in the Eucharist and that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our Salvation. God has given us the wisdom. Have you taken the time to understand? Read this spiritual journey through time to examine critical moments that God uses to reveal the truth of the Body of Christ.

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