“And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering” Genesis 22:8
The ram offered in Isaac’s place represent Christ, who was to be sacrificed in our stead. When man was doomed to death because of his transgression of God’s law, the heavenly Father, looked upon His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, said to the sinner, “Live! I have found a ransom.”
While Isaac was not actually burned as a sacrifice, he was offered up in the heart of Abraham. Abraham had actually sacrificed Isaac to God, as we read in Hebrews 11:17, although he had not killed him. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son” (Hebrews 11:17). The external completion of the act was suddenly prevented by God Himself. It is not external performance that makes a sacrifice, but the intention of the heart. Not death, but life, is the final goal of all sacrifice. In figure, Abraham received Isaac back as if resurrected from the dead.
The blood of the sacrificial ram on Mount Moriah pointed forward to the blood of Christ shed to atone for the sins of men. Abraham’s sacrifice and those offered in the temple of Solomon built on the same spot all pointed forward to the death of the Saviour who was to come. The Christian ordinances, celebrated in our day – the broken bread and the poured wine – point backward to the same sacrifice of Christ and the same salvation. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Why would Abraham do this? Because he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Who and what are you looking for? Abraham by faith stepped out and in his heart sacrificed his son, his only true son and by his faith, Christ revealed to him the beauty of the substitute who was to die in our place for our sins. So, who do you look for? What city are you looking for? Let’s us determine to every day look toward Christ who is our substitute and builder of the city of God!