Oct 20th, 2019
Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 48 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 60 minutes or so we are going to talk about Jesus In The Old Testament. Just kidding, but seriously over the next 10 minutes or so we are going to kick off a new series where we look at Jesus In The Old Testament.
We can speculate ad nauseum about the presence of Jesus in the Old Testament, and we’d probably even get it right most of the time. But, I thought for this series we’d take a different tact and start with New Testament references to Christ being present in the Old Testament as the basis for this study. In John 8:56-58 Jesus says, “ ‘Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.’  The Jews replied, ‘You aren't fifty years old yet, and you've seen Abraham?’  Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.’”
Honestly, this had me stumped because God talks to/visits Abraham multiple times in Genesis. So I started re-reading through Genesis starting in chapter seventeen when God appears to Abraham and gives him the command of circumcision and makes his name longer, but that didn’t seem like an event worth rejoicing for Abraham, or his people. So I moved on to chapter eighteen when God appears to Abraham again with two angels right before the angels proceeded to Sodom mere hours before it, Gomorrah, and all the surrounding cities, save for Zoar to provide Lot and his family a safe haven, are destroyed. But, once again, not much rejoicing to be had here, moving on. Chapter nineteen finds Sarah demanding Abraham send Ishmael, the son he had with his wife’s servant Hagar, and his mother away. Abraham is distressed by this and turns to God, whose reply is to back up Sarah’s stance and to tell Abraham not to worry about it because God will make a nation out of Ishmael’s descendants, still nothing to rejoice about.
Then I got to Genesis twenty-two where God tells Abraham to sacrifice his legitimate son, Isaac. Let’s read it, Genesis 22:1-18, “ After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he answered.  "Take your son," he said, "your only son Isaac, whom you love, go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."  So Abraham got up early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took with him two of his young men and his son Isaac. He split wood for a burnt offering and set out to go to the place God had told him about.  On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.  Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we'll come back to you."  Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac. In his hand he took the fire and the knife, and the two of them walked on together.  Then Isaac spoke to his father Abraham and said, "My father." And he replied, "Here I am, my son." Isaac said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"  Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Then the two of them walked on together.  When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood. He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood.  Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.  But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" He replied, "Here I am."  Then he said, "Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from me."  Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram and offered it as a burnt offering in place of his son.  And Abraham named that place The LORD Will Provide, so today it is said: "It will be provided on the LORD's mountain."  Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven  and said, "By myself I have sworn," this is the LORD's declaration: "Because you have done this thing and have not withheld your only son,  I will indeed bless you and make your offspring as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your offspring will possess the city gates of their enemies.  And all the nations of the earth will be blessed by your offspring because you have obeyed my command.”
Rejoice, Abraham didn’t have to sacrifice his son and all the nations of the Earth will be blessed by his offspring because of his obedience. Let’s break that down because this is possibly one of the most popular types and shadows taught about from the Old Testament and it’s a beauty. In verses one and two God the Father speaks to Abraham telling him to offer Isaac as a burnt offering. We know it’s The Father, or at least we can surmise it’s The Father because He doesn’t show himself to Abraham, it’s just a voice. This is The Fathers M.O. when dealing with humanity because we can’t see His face or we’ll die, but that’s a whole other topic.
After receiving God’s command Abraham, much like the Israelites after receiving The Law, went about making preparations to carry out the seemingly impossible and believing that the Lord had a plan of deliverance, resurrection, or both. Abraham reassures his son that the Lord will provide a lamb for the sacrifice and proceeds to tie Isaac up, places him on top of the wood, and takes out his knife to carry out God’s command. Just then “The Angel Of The Lord,” calls out to Abraham from heaven, or more specifically that’s the words:
H8064 שָׁמֶה שָׁמַיִם shâmayim shâmeh shaw-mah'-yim, shaw-meh' The second form being dual of an unused singular; from an unused root meaning to be lofty; the sky (as aloft; the dual perhaps alluding to the visible arch in which the clouds move, as well as to the higher ether where the celestial bodies revolve): - air, X astrologer, heaven (-s).
So “The Angel Of The Lord,” calls out to Abraham from the sky. But, this is no mere angel, we know this isn’t just an angel from verse twelve where He says, “Do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your only son from Me.” That’s the distinction there, “from Me,” an angel wouldn’t dare to refer to itself as God. This angel, or that word can also be translated as; prophet, priest, teacher, ambassador, king, or messenger, this “angel” is Jesus.
Abraham saw, in a very personal way, the day of Jesus. The day that the deliverer came to set free from the commands, the directives, The Law that demanded death. So many pieces of this puzzle that have been presenting themselves to Abraham over his life must have become glaringly clear in that moment that he looked up in response to the voice calling out to him from the sky and saw the deliverer, saw the redeemer, saw Jesus.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”