In photography, a snapshot concept was introduced to the public on a large-scale by Eastman Kodak, which introduced the Brownie box camera. Kodak encouraged families to use the Brownie to capture moments in time of perfect images seen through the viewfinder.
And I remember receiving the gift of a Kodak Box Camera, a Brownie Hawkeye, no less, from my parents before going on a family vacation one summer. It was easy to operate, even for a young boy–point, look through the lens at the object to be photographed, and “SNAP!” No fancy adjustments. Just point and shoot!
So here I am in this blog-Post, taking a snapshot of a moment in time by viewing the biblical landscape in Genesis 22.
“Take now your son”…”Abraham took the wood…laid it on Isaac his son”…and Abraham said, “My son”.
Just as Abraham had a son, so God the Father has a Son.
- God the Father offered His Son, by the POWER of the Holy Spirit:
“How much more then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:14 ~ New International Version – NIV).
So you can see that the TRINITY (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is plainly in view and involved in our SALVATION–
The FATHER PLANNED it…
The SON PROVIDED it…
And the SPIRIT APPLIED it.
Furthermore, by sharpening our FOCUS, we can see He was the Father’s lone Son – “your only son”.
Of course, Abraham had other sons, but the only one like Isaac–he was his unique son.
Next, we see through our lens, the Father’s LOVE for His Son.
“Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love” (vs 2)
- The LOVE Abraham had for Isaac was only a subdued love, compared to the LOVE God had for His Son.
This is the FIRST MENTION of LOVE in the Bible and a VIEW of God’s LOVE for His Son:
The first mention of LOVE in the Gospel of Matthew is “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
The first mention of LOVE in Mark’s Gospel is again, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased” (Mark 2:11).
And Luke… “and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you, I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22).
And finally, the first mention of LOVE in John’s Gospel, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
SPURGEON: “JESUS was God’s Son, his only-begotten Son, whom he loved more than any of you can ever love your sons or daughters, for the love of God towards him is ineffable, immeasurable. It is not possible for me to tell you how much God loved his Son, but that Son who had always given him delight, in whom he was well pleased, that Son must endure shame, and agony, and death, if sinners were ever to be saved. How could the Father give up his Son for such a purpose? I have felt sometimes as if I could almost rush in, and say, “No; it must not be, the price is too great to be paid for the rescue of such worthless worms as we.” Yet, to ransom every one of us, the Son of God must be sacrificed, and sacrificed, as it were, by his Father, for thus it is written, “It pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” This, there is one point of resemblance between the offering of Isaac and the propitiatory sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ, it was the father who had to offer up his son who he loved so dearly.”
A SNAP-SHOT of the Landscape–The Land of Moriah (Gen 22:2; 2 Chron. 3:1).
Genesis 22, Verse 2: “go to the region of Moriah”
The importance of Mount Moriah is established by a number of KEY historical events which have taken place there:
- Abraham offers Isaac (Gen. 22:2)
- The Site of Solomon’s Temple. King David was instructed by God to erect an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite which occupied this site. So David purchased the land which later became the site of Solomon’s Temple.
- The Crucifixion of Jesus. On the very mountain where Abraham was asked to sacrifice his “only son”, God sacrificed His only Son.
The LAW of the Burnt Offering (22:2).
This LAW was spelled out in Leviticus (Lev. 1:3-9), much later than what we see here in Genesis 22. Actually, the term is first used of the sacrifices of Noah (Gen. 8:20), predating Abraham’s day.
The LAW spells out that the SACRIFICE is not to be a Second-rate offering:
#1. It must be sacrificial–from the herd or flock that is domestic not of a wild animal.
#2. There was to be a relationship between the OFFERING and the one offering it ~ “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
#3. The SACRIFICE must be the Strongest of the flock–a male animal (John 1:29).
#4. It must be Spotless–without blemish (1 Peter 1:18-19):
 You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold.  But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot.” [Amplified Bible].
JESUS WAS SINLESS!
#5. AND…It must not be Stiff-necked; used of an uncooperative animal–it must be a VOLUNTARY Offering (John 10:17-18)
A SACRIFICE was made to BALANCE our account (Romans 4:35 & 2 Corinthians 5:21).
Romans 4:25 (AMP):
Who was betrayed and put to death because of our misdeeds and was raised to secure our justification (our acquittal), [making our account balance and absolving us from all guilt before God].
The SACRIFICE was SLAIN by the one who brought it.
Ultimately, it was God the Father who brought Jesus to CALVARY who slew Him for our sins (Matthew 27:45-46).
The BLOOD from the SACRIFICE had to be Sprinkled (Hebrews 12:24):
 And to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy] a better and nobler and more gracious message that the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance] (AMP).
The SACRIFICE was a Sweet Aroma to Father God (Ephesians 5:2):
 Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
A Lapse of Time occurred…(Genesis 22:3)
ABRAHAM rose early in the morning…on the THIRD DAY–he did not offer his son immediately but had to wait for 3 days.
Those had to be 3 difficult days and mindful of what he was about to do.
- JESUS waited some 3 years before going to the CROSS and it was ever before Him! (John 2:4; 7:30; 12:27).
LOOKING FOR A RESURRECTION (Hebrews 11:17-19):
Abraham came to the conclusion that he was going to see a MIRACLE because God can’t lie! God had previously said this son of his, Isaac, would be the one whom He would fulfill all His promises (Gen, 12:2, 3 – “The Abrahamic Blessing”). Therefore the son must live or God would be found as a liar. And yet God commands that THIS SON (Isaac) be put to death. Since there is no contradiction in God, He must be planning on raising Isaac from the dead. All this…a SNAPSHOT of what JESUS would actually do–die and then be raised back to life!
All this…A VIEW of what JESUS would actually do–die and then be raised back to life!
The Laying Of Our Sins Upon Christ –
The WOOD that is laid upon Isaac (Gen. 22:6) becomes a PICTURE of Jesus carrying His own cross (John 19:16-18).
The FIRE (Genesis 22:6-7) that Abraham carried in the fire-pot for the “burnt sacrifice” becomes a snapshot once more of God’s Holy wrath upon Christ (Isaiah 53:4-6).
The KNIFE (22:10) depicts His being pierced with nails and the spear in His side…
And FINALLY, the LAMB (Genesis 22:8; 11-14).
GOD DID PROVIDE A LAMB FOR HIMSELF AT CALVARY (Romans 8:32):
 “Certainly not God. who did not even keep back his own Son, but offered him for us all! He gave us his Son–will he not also freely give us all things?” (GNT- The Good News Translation)
Why did God tell Abraham to offer his son?
Abraham was an Old Testament PROPHET (GENESIS 20:7)–one who by the grace of God have us a glimpse into future events.
JESUS said ABRAHAM hoped for “My day [My incarnation]; and he did see it and was delighted” (John 8:56).
This MOMENT, this event in history becomes a SNAPSHOT taken to illustrate God offering His only Son at CALVARY.
From 1935 to 1962, former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt had a daily newspaper column writing her opinion on various world events. One quote I especially took to heart is from an article she wrote in 1946:
“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”
God will never ask us to do something He is not willing to do Himself–and that includes SACRIFICE.
ISAAC is the beginning of the CROSS, and a shining example of how God will always do the same thing He expects of us.
Isaac was the RESULT of A PROMISE, through his birth that allowed God’s presence to reach a new nation of people–ISRAEL.
And JESUS was also the RESULT of a PROMISE, and through His DEATH, BURIAL and RESURRECTION allowed God’s presence to reach the entire world!
CREDITS FOR THIS POST:
Genesis: A Devotional Exposition by Donald G. Barnhouse.
Commentary: Pondering Scripture – An Uncommon Commentary, Genesis 22:5.
Kodak Brownie photo: Snapshot (photography)–Wikipedia.
Other PHOTOS: Google Image Search.
Bible Translations used for this blog-POST: New International Version (NIV), except where noted.