Laughter from God: Isaac as a Christ Type

Isaac is known by many Christians to be the son of Abraham, born to both he and Sarah in their old age. Some know that Sarah laughed at the idea that she’d give birth to Isaac since she was past the childbearing age. A great deal of believers have heard about Abraham offering up his son Isaac and finding that God provided a ram in the bush as the offering instead. The passage of Abraham offering up Isaac is one of the most controversial in the Bible for some individuals because few believe that God would ever influence a father to offer up his son.

The life of Isaac may not be as well-known, but there is one passage in Scripture that is obscure and relatively unknown to many Christians. I’ve been a believer for 22 years now and have never (repeat, never) heard a sermon on this passage about Isaac. What is the passage, you ask? The text comes from Hebrews, where we are told that Isaac is more than just a person:

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:17-19)

Abraham, the one the Lord promised he would make a great nation of, the one through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed (we read in Genesis 12), is told to offer up his son Isaac. According to Hebrews 11:17, Abraham “was tested,” meaning that the command to offer his son Isaac on the altar in the land of Moriah was a command to test the faith and loyalty of Abraham to God. And then it says that Abraham received Isaac back “in a figurative sense.” It wasn’t a literal sense, if you notice, but a figurative one. In other words, Isaac was offered up but wasn’t killed, didn’t die, and wasn’t the sacrifice God accepted. What was the sacrifice God accepted in place of Isaac? Why did God not receive Isaac as a sacrifice?

Well, if you’ve read Hebrews 11 above and are starting to see Isaac as a sacrifice, akin to Jesus, who was a sacrifice, then you’re starting to understand that Isaac, though underestimated in Scripture, is a Christ type. Just how? That’s what this article is devoted to — so keep reading.

Isaac’s impossible birth was prophesied; so was Jesus’

Isaac’s birth was prophesied by God to Abraham when he was 99 years old:

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” 3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. 8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”

15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”

17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”

19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” 22 Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (Genesis 17:1-22)

First, the Lord says that He would establish His covenant with Abraham and his descendants. In verses 4-6, the Lord calls Abram “a father of many nations” and changes Abram’s name to “Abraham” to reflect the promise the Lord made to him. “Abram” is Hebrew meaning “exalted father.” Abram was a “father,” but the name “Abraham” means “father of” (Abra) “many nations” (ham). He wasn’t a father, even though his name meant “father.” And yet, the Lord adds to his name by making him “A father of many nations.” From Abraham would come kings, nations, people, even the Lord Jesus Christ. The Abrahamic Covenant was established with Abraham and his descendants “to be God to you and your descendants after you” (v.7) as well as to give the land of Canaan to Abraham’s seed, who would become the Israelites.

10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” (Genesis 17:10-14)

Every male child was to be circumcised. Notice that “every male child” was to have circumcision; females were not included in the Abrahamic Covenant. Every child would be circumcised eight days after birth, and anyone who wasn’t would be cut off from the people of God. Circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant between Abraham and God (who initiated the Covenant). What we see here is that God initiates the Covenant, God establishes this agreement, chooses to enter into a Covenant with humanity. Humanity did not initiate the Covenant, nor did humanity do anything so worthy to deserve it. The same can be said for salvation as well: God chooses to commune with us, live inside of us, and be our Savior. There’s nothing that we can do to merit or deserve God’s decision to be our God. He chooses to be our God, He chooses to dwell among us, and He chooses to save us.

15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”

17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”

19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” 22 Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham. (Genesis 17:15-22)

We’ve read of Sarah laughing so many times about her child (and we’ll cover that passage), but the first laugh doesn’t come from Sarah; it comes from Abraham. Genesis 17:17 says “Abraham fell on his face and laughed.” That’s right: Abraham laughed. His question to God shows just how funny he thought the idea of a child at he and Sarah’s age was: “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17) The idea of a son being born to a 100-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman was laughable. It was beyond laughable; it was impossible. Or so Abraham and Sarah thought. The Lord was about to perform a miracle in the lives of Abraham and Sarah such that the impossible would not only become possible, but real. God would give Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age, and the impossible would become actual with God.

Abraham questioned the idea of he and Sarah having a child at their old ages, and the situation seemed impossible. Even to our understanding today, the idea of a child being born to a 100-year-old man and 90-year-old woman is, to use a pun, inconceivable. Abraham and Sarah were past their childbearing years, unable to conceive, unable to have sexual pleasure (as Sarah says later). And yet, the Lord promises to give them a child through the impossible: through biological processes from what are considered to be “dead” bodies (in the sense of conceiving children, not in the sense of “not alive”).

Abraham wants to give Ishmael a place of honor, seeing that the idea of a son in his old age is next to impossible if not impossible. And yet, the Lord refuses such an idea: “And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before you!’ Then God said, ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him’” (Genesis 17:18-19).

While Abraham was thinking on the son he already had, the Lord resists the idea. Ishmael was never the child God promised; rather, he was a result of Sarah’s impatience to wait for God’s promise to come to pass:

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. 3 Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes. (Genesis 16:1-4)

Sarai, before her name change in Genesis 17, says to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children.” The Lord had told Abraham that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him, but Sarah gets impatient and decides to give Hagar to Abraham to be a second wife (he marries again after Sarah dies to Keturah, his third wife). And Abraham does as instructed: he marries Hagar, has sexual relations with her, and conceives a child who is named “Ishmael.” And the Lord says that because Ishmael was a child conceived by the will of man, the desire of Sarah to circumvent God’s promise to get what she wanted, Ishmael would not be the child of promise; instead, Isaac would be the child, a second son that the Lord would deliver that wouldn’t involve human tampering or the agenda of humans (as Ishmael had been the agenda of Sarai). The name “Isaac” is Hebrew for laughter, because both Abraham and Sarah laughed when they were told that they’d conceive a son with their “dead” bodies. Now, Abraham had gone in and conceive a child by Hagar, but Hagar must’ve been a bit younger than Sarai — otherwise, why would Abraham include any commentary about Sarah being 90 years old? And yet, the Lord wanted to do the impossible in their lives. Ishmael was an example of human desire, a testimony to human decision, but Isaac would be born despite impossible circumstances. He would be Abraham and Sarah’s “miracle child.”

How long would Abraham and Sarah have to wait? Just one year: “But My Covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year” (Genesis 17:21). Twelve months is all the waiting time for them. It wouldn’t be long. This would also give Abraham and Sarah time to bear the child physically as well, for the child would only take nine months to carry in the womb (so Abraham and Sarah would likely go three months in the future before she’d conceive the promised child, Isaac).

In Genesis 18, the following chapter, the Lord appears to Abraham and Sarah and repeats the news the Lord said to Abraham in Genesis 17:

9 Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”

So he said, “Here, in the tent.”

10 And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.”

(Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.) 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. 12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

13 And the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”

15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid.

And He said, “No, but you did laugh!” (Genesis 18:9-15)

The Lord appears to Abraham as “three men” (Genesis 18:2), whom Abraham refers to as “My Lord” (v.3). Abraham tells the three men, “rest yourselves under the tree” (v.4), which tells us that the three men are the Triune Godhead, the Trinity, God in three persons, that appears to Abraham. Some would say otherwise, that these three men could be “angels,” and that has some merit: after all, the angels that appear in Sodom and Gomorrah who tell Lot and his family to escape the city are divine beings but aren’t the Lord. This event also occurs here in Genesis 18, but in this case, it is the Lord who says He would go down to see the cities:

20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” (Genesis 18:20-21)

The Lord has said that He would go down to examine the actions of the evil, sinful cities, not that angels would go down for Him or that He’d send them. So, what we see here is that these three men appear to be the Lord in this chapter. In our current context of Genesis 18:9-15, we read that “they” ask Abraham where is his wife in verse 9, and then we read what “He” said in verse 10. In verse 10, the Lord says “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” Now, the “Lord” would have to be the three men, who ask for Sarah in verse 9 because they wanted to break the news to her as well as Abraham. Sarah was listening behind Abraham, hiding behind a tent door when the Lord gives the good news, and the text says that “Sarah laughed within herself.” She didn’t laugh out loud, but she laughed within as though she thought it impossible, humorous, that something of the sort could even happen to her. It was a laugh of unbelief as evidenced by her inward thought: “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” (Genesis 18:12). Genesis 18:11 reiterates what we’ve said before in that “Sarah had passed the age of childbearing.” Her chances of bearing a child were impossible, which explains her laugh. Her laugh said, in so many words, “my time is past, and there’s no need to even think about it. I’m beyond the age of childbearing; no one bears children at my age.No one.” The Lord catches her laughing and He, knowing all things, responds, “Why did Sarah laugh?” He repeats what He’s said before (that Sarah would have a son next year), but adds to it, “is anything too hard for the Lord?” (v.14)

Abraham and Sarah laughed, believing the idea of conception to be “inconceivable.” But Isaac wasn’t the only “impossible” child that was born. Isaac also shares that honor with Jesus. His birth was also seemingly “impossible” and downright “impossible” to the human mind:

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:26-38)

Matthew tells the story of Joseph and how Joseph was planning to divorce Mary after discovering she was pregnant. Luke, on the other hand, writes about Mary, the virgin who is told by Gabriel that she would conceive a Son and call His name Jesus. In response to the angel Gabriel, Mary asks the question, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” (Luke 1:34) This response shows that Mary, in her human understanding, couldn’t comprehend how she could become pregnant and give birth to a child when she was a virgin — not even with Joseph, her fiance. Many would say that between the prophesied births of Jesus and Isaac, Jesus’ birth seems more impossible, but let’s not overlook the fact that Abraham and Isaac were 90 and 100 years old when they were promised a son. They had “dead” wombs, yet God still gave them a child who arrived via the normal biological processes. On the other hand, Jesus was both human and divine and the idea of a divine conception isn’t so strange when one considers His nature. If the Lord could bring life from “dead” wombs, surely He could bring life via supernatural means. Bringing life from “dead” wombs was also a supernatural act that somehow transcends the normal course of biology.

Isaac’s birth was prophesied, but Christ’s birth was also prophesied — at least 700 years before His birth:

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to make war against it, but could not prevail against it. 2 And it was told to the house of David, saying, “Syria’s forces are deployed in Ephraim.” So his heart and the heart of his people were moved as the trees of the woods are moved with the wind.

3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out now to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-Jashub your son, at the end of the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, 4 and say to him: ‘Take heed, and be quiet; do not fear or be fainthearted for these two stubs of smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria, and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah have plotted evil against you, saying, 6 “Let us go up against Judah and trouble it, and let us make a gap in its wall for ourselves, and set a king over them, the son of Tabel”— 7 thus says the Lord God:

“It shall not stand, Nor shall it come to pass. 8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, And the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be broken, So that it will not be a people. 9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria, And the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If you will not believe, surely you shall not be established.”

10 Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”

12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”

13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. (Isaiah 7:1-16)

The “virgin” who shall bear a Son refers to Mary who bore Jesus. Yes, some 700 years before the birth of Jesus, the Lord moved Isaiah to give this prophecy to King Ahaz about his enemies.

Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,

As when at first He lightly esteemed

The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,

And afterward more heavily oppressed her,

By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,

In Galilee of the Gentiles.

2 The people who walked in darkness

Have seen a great light;

Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,

Upon them a light has shined.

3 You have multiplied the nation

And increased its joy;

They rejoice before You

According to the joy of harvest,

As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

4 For You have broken the yoke of his burden

And the staff of his shoulder,

The rod of his oppressor,

As in the day of Midian.

5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,

And garments rolled in blood,

Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.

6 For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

From that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:1-7)

The first seven verses of Isaiah 9 show that the oppression of Israel, her yoke to bear under her Gentile oppressors (Gentile nations), would be thrown off because of this Child, this “Son” (Isaiah 9:6), the One who would be called “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father.” This Child, according to Isaiah 9:6, is God Himself. The Lord would throw off the oppression of the Jews by way of His Son, who would be born “unto us,” referring to the nation of Israel. Isaiah sees the birth of Jesus as a birth that he also receives because he is a Jew who, like all others, was awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. Indeed those who live among the Gentiles, as noted about Galilee in the earlier verses of Isaiah 9, will have the light shine on them (Jesus, of course, is called the light of the world in John 1). The Light that shined on them is the same “Son” that would be born to them, Jesus:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1:1-9)

“The Light” in which “all through Him might believe” is Jesus; faith in Jesus is what saves. “The true Light” of John 1:9 is Jesus, for Jesus Himself says that He is the Light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5).

More information about the Messiah is found in Isaiah 53:

Who has believed our report?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,

And as a root out of dry ground.

He has no form or comeliness;

And when we see Him,

There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

3 He is despised and rejected by men,

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4 Surely He has borne our griefs

And carried our sorrows;

Yet we esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,

He was bruised for our iniquities;

The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,

And by His stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;

We have turned, every one, to his own way;

And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,

Yet He opened not His mouth;

He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,

And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,

So He opened not His mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,

And who will declare His generation?

For He was cut off from the land of the living;

For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

9 And they made His grave with the wicked—

But with the rich at His death,

Because He had done no violence,

Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;

He has put Him to grief.

When You make His soul an offering for sin,

He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,

And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.

By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,

For He shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,

And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,

Because He poured out His soul unto death,

And He was numbered with the transgressors,

And He bore the sin of many,

And made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:1-12)

“He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (v.2-3), “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (v.5), “the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (v.6), “for the transgressions of My people He was stricken” (v.8), “they made His grave with the wicked — but with the rich at His death” (v.9), “You make His soul an offering for sin” (v.10), “By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” (v.11), “He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (v.12) are all verses of Isaiah 53 that point to Jesus. The Lord laid the iniquity of the entire world on Jesus. “His grave was made with the rich” refers to Jesus’ burial in a tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man who asked for the body of Jesus at His death. Jesus was the offering for sin that “justify[ed] many” and “bear[s] their iniquities.” Jesus is the one who bore the sins of the world and “made intercession for the transgressors.” All these claims are in reference to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second member of the Triune Godhead and the Son of God the Father.

These are just a few of the Old Testament prophecies concerning Jesus, but it shows that Isaac, as with Jesus, had a prophesied birth. Interestingly enough, Jacob and Esau’s births were prophesied as well, as Isaac’s wife Rebekah inquired of the Lord concerning the fighting in her womb when she was pregnant (Genesis 25:23).

The promised Isaac, and Christ, are both born; God fulfills His promises

And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. 4 Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. 5 Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. 6 And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” 7 She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.” 8 So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. (Genesis 21:1-8)

Verse 1 tells us that the Lord fulfilled His promise that He made more than once to Abraham, and on one visit to Sarah: “And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken” (Genesis 21:1). The Lord gave them a child “at the set time of which God had spoken to him,” that is, Abraham (v.2). Verse 3 reiterates that Sarah actually gave birth with the words “the son who was born to him — whom Sarah bore to him,” reminding us that, despite the deadness of Sarah’s womb, God still produced a miracle child inside her and the child was carried for nine months, then born to Sarah and Abraham. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was likely 90 or 91 when Isaac was born. Again, the age factor is placed in Genesis 21 to remind us of just how impossible to the human mind this pregnancy was (though with God, all things are possible).

Isaac, the son born to Abraham and Sarah, is Hebrew meaning laughter, and we know that both Abraham and Sarah laughed at the idea of conceiving a child in their old age. “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me,” Sarah said (Genesis 21:7), once again reminding us of “Isaac” and the meaning of his name. He was the “laughter child,” a symbol of, as the title of this article says, “Laughter from God” because the idea of conceiving him in their 90s and 100s was laughable. And yet, God gets the last laugh here because He does the impossible, unthinkable, inconceivable.

All who would see Sarah would laugh with her, Sarah said, and she never thought she’d ever nurse a child. The situation of Abraham and Sarah is similar to that of Zachariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. Zachariah and Elizabeth were barren with “dead” wombs and couldn’t conceive, but the Lord gave Elizabeth a child despite her barren womb. As can be seen, God has a way of making the impossible possible, showing mankind that there’s nothing too hard for Him — which is what He told Sarah back in Genesis 18:13.

Paul had this to say about Abraham and Sarah in Romans 4:

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:13-25)

Abraham and Sarah’s wombs were dead, but the Giver of Life brought about a human life (Isaac) from what was a dead situation. The God who brings forth streams in the wilderness (Isaiah 35:6) also brings forth life from barren and dead wombs. God is the “All Mighty” (Almighty); He can do anything!

Just as sure as Isaac was born, Jesus was born also:

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-6)

Jesus was born because of the census that drove Mary and Joseph back to Bethlehem. The text says that “the days were completed for her to be delivered” (Luke 2:6), meaning that the fullness of time came in which, after 9 months, she was to give birth. And she did. The Lord fulfilled His promise to Mary as He had done to Abraham and Sarah.

As we’ve seen above, Isaac and Jesus have similar birth prophecies and circumstances: Isaac’s parents were old and way past the childbearing stage, and Mary was a virgin — meaning that her situation, like Abraham and Sarah, was impossible with regard to the promise of God. Yet, God specializes in the impossible, and nothing is too hard for the Lord. Nothing.

Isaac and Jesus: offered as sacrifices

Isaac and Jesus are both born in impossible circumstances, but their births, recorded in Scripture, testify to the power of God. The next factor in Isaac as a Christ type is that Isaac, like Jesus, is offered as a sacrifice.

It is this major fact that makes Isaac a Christ type, as the Book of Hebrews speaks of this one thing that connects Isaac and Jesus. I’ll place the Hebrews passage here again for convenience:

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” 19 concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:17-19)

Abraham offered up his son Isaac, the child that God had promised him would be the one through whom his seed would continue, the one through whom the covenant would be established (not Ishmael). And yet, Isaac did not die. Genesis 22 gives the account in full:

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!”

And he said, “Here I am.”

2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”

6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!”

And he said, “Here I am, my son.”

Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.

9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— 17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba. (Genesis 22:1-19)

At the beginning of Genesis 22, we find the Lord giving a command. Genesis 22:1 says “God tested Abraham,” so in case you’ve ever wondered what this chapter is about, it’s that: the Lord tested Abraham. He tests all of us as well, but in the case of Abraham, it involved his son, Isaac. The Lord refers to Isaac in verse 2 as “your only son Isaac, whom you love,” which would cause some to pause and reconsider. After all, was Isaac Abraham’s only son? Not if history is right and Ishmael was the conceived by Hagar and Abraham:

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. 3 Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. 4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. (Genesis 16:1-4)

Isaac wasn’t Abraham’s only son in the sense that he only had one biological descendant. What did the Lord mean by “your only son, whom you love,” then? What God referred to in this passage is the one son that God had given him. Ishmael, the product of Abraham and Hagar, was not the son of promise, and Abraham even pleaded for the Lord to let Ishmael live before God — though the Lord said no to the idea:

17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”

19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” (Genesis 17:17-21)

In Genesis 17:18, Abraham wants Ishmael to be the child of the covenant, but the Lord rejects the idea. Why? Because Ishmael was a child of the will of Sarah, not the will of God. Abraham literally gained a second wife by Sarah, who gave Hagar to Abraham as another wife. Of course, this is bigamy (marriage to two living spouses simultaneously), and this is a sin the Lord never endorsed. Thus, the product of the second, outlawed marriage was also a child of the will of man rather than the will of God. Ishmael was never approved by God but instead, by man, and when it came to the covenant, the Lord wouldn’t approve Ishmael. His covenant was to bring about the birth of Isaac. Isaac was the child of promise. The Lord still blessed Ishmael, but the covenantal blessings would be with Isaac because the Lord prophesied His birth. And the Lord didn’t renege on how He felt about Ishmael, even though He blessed him by virtue of he being Abraham’s son, Abraham’s seed, belonging to the father of many nations. God fulfilled covenantal blessings to Isaac while still making of Ishmael a great nation, but God upheld His will concerning Isaac as the child of promise. If Sarah had never taken matters into her own hands, Ishmael would’ve never been in the world to begin with.

So, with the Lord, Isaac was his “only” son because Isaac was the only son God promised to the elderly couple. Ishmael was a child of their own conception (pun intended), not the will of God and not according to the miraculous working of God. Sometimes, God wants to do miracles in our lives, but our actions get in the way and frustrate what God desires to do.

The Lord tells Abraham to go to the land of Moriah, and He then says “offer him [Isaac] there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I shall tell you” (v.2). How does one offer a burnt offering? One proceeds to burn up the offering (fire is present), and, in the case of animals, one carves the animal on the offer, takes a knife to it to separate the pieces. Perhaps that’s what Abraham proceeded to do with the fire in his hand and the knife he raised to place in Isaac. But yes, Abraham “split the wood for the burnt offering” (v.3) and traveled three days to the mountain in the land of Moriah that God told him. Yes, he traveled three days to offer his son as the burnt offering.

Abraham prepared to offer his son, but he had faith that Isaac would return with him — despite God’s command that Isaac was to be offered as a burnt offering. In verse 5, Abraham said to his men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” He said that he and Isaac “will come back to you,” a demonstration of his great faith that the Lord would not mandate that Isaac be killed on the altar.

Verses 6-8 are poignant indeed, for Abraham lays the fire and the split wood on Isaac. We see Isaac inquire about the offering, a sign that he knew how sacrifices were to be offered: “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” He knew that the lamb was needed to complete the sacrifice, that the burnt offering couldn’t happen without it. Abraham’s response to Isaac’s question? “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering” (v.8). This is yet another response that the Lord would meet the need without mandating the life of Isaac his son. We get the impression that Abraham believed this was a test as well. Many of us would’ve prepared to lose our son or daughter if we had to give them up as a sacrifice (without seeing it as a test, that the Lord wouldn’t require us to sacrifice our children).

9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11 But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

15 Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son17 blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” (Genesis 22:9-18)

In verse 9, Abraham takes the split wood he prepared, placed it on the altar, and then bound Isaac on the wood with rope (or so we imagine). He took the knife in his hands and lifted it above Isaac’s body in order to slay him as one would slay an animal about to be killed. And in the midst of it, God’s voice cries out to Abraham and tells him not to kill his son. “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (v.12).

Notice that the voice that cries out to Abraham knows his name, and then refers to “Me,” so we presume the voice is God. In verse 13, Abraham sees a “ram caught in a thicket by its horns” and offers that in place of Isaac. The name of the altar there is “The Lord Will Provide” because there, on the altar, the Lord provided a ram to offer as a burnt offering instead of his son, Isaac. In verses 16-18, the Lord reiterates to Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and sand on the seashore (v.17):

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” 3 Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!”

4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” 5 Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.”

6 And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6)

The Lord also told Abraham that all the families of the earth would be blessed through him (v.18), which we’ve already seen in Genesis 12:3 —

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,

From your family

And from your father’s house,

To a land that I will show you.

2 I will make you a great nation;

I will bless you

And make your name great;

And you shall be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,

And I will curse him who curses you;

And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

The Lord tells Abraham in Genesis 22:18 that “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Abraham’s obedience is the reason the Lord says He will fulfill His covenant promises to Abraham.

Isaac as a Christ Type

If you’ve followed the trail of thought up to now, we’ve examined the birth and early life of Isaac, that he was the child God promised Abraham and Sarah, and then offered on a mountain in the land of Moriah as a child. Some would say that they’ve followed the trail up until now. And yet, there’s another reason why Isaac is a Christ type — apart from his prophesied birth and impossible circumstances surrounding it.

The reason surrounds the events of Genesis 22. There, we see that Abraham is told to offer up his only son, “whom you love.” Abraham, in Genesis 22, becomes the “Father” who “offers up His only Son.” The picture of Abraham giving Isaac is a reference to God the Father who offers up His Son, Jesus, for the world. First, Jesus is God’s only begotten Son:

“I will declare the decree:

The Lord has said to Me,

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You

The nations for Your inheritance,

And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’” (Psalm 2:7-9)

David writes Psalm 2, but the “You are My Son” is a reference to Jesus. Jesus is the one the Father has “begotten.” And we also see this in one of the most beloved verses of Scripture, John 3:16:

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God the Father gave up His only begotten Son, Jesus, whom He loved, and Abraham gave up his only son, whom he loved, Isaac.

16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5)

32 And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. 33 God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:

‘You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You.’ (Acts 13:32-33)

5 For to which of the angels did He ever say:

“You are My Son,

Today I have begotten You”?

And again:

“I will be to Him a Father,

And He shall be to Me a Son”?

6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:

“Let all the angels of God worship Him.” (Hebrews 1:5-6)

Jesus was the Father’s only begotten Son that He offered up as the sacrifice on behalf of the world. Paul has this to say about the Father’s great love for His Son but even greater love for the world:

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)

God the Father did not spare His only begotten Son but offered Him up for all humanity, to save us from our sins. If you’ve ever wondered about the Father’s love, understand how deep it is. As the song says,

“How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss

The Father turns His face away

As wounds which mar the Chosen One

Bring many sons to glory.”

Only Abraham could have some idea (though not fully) of what it’s like to offer up your son as a sacrifice. And of course, Isaac doesn’t get killed because the Lord provides a ram in the bush. In other words, as close as Isaac comes to being a sacrifice, to being a Christ type, he doesn’t complete the Christ type. Interestingly enough, the same thing happens to Joseph: his brothers want to kill him, and vow to do so, but Judah, his older brother, tells them not to kill him but throw him into a pit. In the final analysis, the brothers sell Joseph off into Egyptian slavery, kill an animal, and dip Joseph’s coat of many colors into the animal’s blood — to make it appear as though Joseph has sacrificed his life (though he hasn’t). As we’ve seen here with Isaac, there’s a substitute sacrifice for both Isaac and Joseph, but not one for Jesus: He IS the sacrifice, the One for whom there is no substitute.

With a birth prophesied in impossible circumstances, to the sacrifice effort that isn’t completed, we can see Isaac as the only begotten son of Abraham, the one Abraham loved, who is offered up. And, as Hebrews says, even though Abraham offers him up, he does so with the knowledge that God was able to resurrect him if He had to because God can do the impossible (after all, God did give he and Sarah a son when he was 100 years old, did He not?). And Isaac, born in impossible circumstance, was offered up because of the command of God.

And yet, Isaac is not only a type of Christ because of his impossible birth circumstances, foretold or prophesied birth, and his sacrifice, but because his sacrifice is the same event in which we read that God reaffirms His promise to bless Abraham and give him descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Isaac becomes the foundation of the “New Covenant,” the Abrahamic Covenant, where the Lord gives Abraham numerous descendants. In the New Covenant, Abraham also receives numerous descendants, though they’re not biologically related to him. Instead, they are children of the promise, spiritual descendants who, by faith, are able to claim Abraham as their father and his seed, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior:

13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:13-25)

6 But it is not that the word of God has taken no effect. For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, 7 nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” 8 That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed. 9 For this is the word of promise: “At this time I will come and Sarah shall have a son.” (Romans 9:6-9)

16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:16-29)

5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:

“What is man that You are mindful of him,

Or the son of man that You take care of him?

7 You have made him a little lower than the angels;

You have crowned him with glory and honor,

And set him over the works of Your hands.

8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:

“I will declare Your name to My brethren;

In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”

13 And again:

“I will put My trust in Him.”

And again:

“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:5-18)

Through the sacrifice of Isaac, the covenant is made for Abraham and his descendants after Him, with Isaac being the one through whom God established His covenant. In the same way, through the offering of Jesus, Christ, the descendant of Isaac, becomes the One through whom the covenant is extended not only to Jews but to Gentiles as well. Through Abraham by way of Isaac, and, ultimately, Christ, all the nations of the earth are blessed. Salvation, originally of the Jews, is extended to the entire world. Yes, in John 3:16, “world” really means “world.” And He, Jesus, is the propitiation, the appeasing, atoning sacrifice, for our sins as well as the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2).

The laughter from God that brought Isaac is the laughter that saved the entire world. Is there anything too hard for God? No; with God, nothing is impossible. Nothing.

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3 Responses to “Laughter from God: Isaac as a Christ Type”

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  1. Gracie - February 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    I’m so thankful I received this, I have a difficult time sometimes reading Scripture straight from the Bible over and over, I’m crying because it’s exactly what I needed. I’ve not been nearly as faithful as our God’s servants, I have no Godly people around me, none and I feel I should leave but don’t know where to go. Please pray God will forgive me and help me to become faithful to Him and Christ Jesus.

  2. john muttiah - January 29, 2019 at 10:38 am

    In Isaac we have a foretaste of what is to come and it has now been fulfilled in Christ.

    This is truly a great sermon. The covenant made with Abraham is extended to both Isaac and Jacob and that is why we read in the Bible Jehovah God expressed as the God of Abraham, Isaac and of Jacob a number of times.

    • Valerie Clay - February 1, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      Yes I believe God is more than able. He is the God of the impossible. What a wonderful God we serve. Thank you Father for your precious Son Jesus

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