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The Bible Code: Finding Jesus in Every Book in the Bible
by O. S. Hawkins
Learn More | Meet O. S. Hawkins
FINDING JESUS IN GENESIS
He Is the Ram at Abraham’s Altar
Then [God] 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.” . . . And [the Angel of the Lord] 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.”
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.
—GENESIS 22:2, 12–13
Anyone who has ever seen a picture of the Holy City of Jerusalem has most likely seen the golden-domed Mosque of Omar, more commonly referred to as the Dome of the Rock, sitting center stage and glistening in the bright Middle Eastern sun on the summit of Mount Moriah. It was on, or very near, the same spot where Solomon’s temple, in all its magnificent glory, once sat. The temple’s massive foundation stones, quarried from the northern side of the mountain, shaped and then moved to the summit, are an architectural marvel to this very day. The temple’s construction materials consisted of 2,000 tons of gold and 7,500 pounds of silver. There, the Jews from around the world would make their pilgrimage for the annual sacrifice during their High Holy Days.
But centuries before a Muslim mosque or a Jewish temple sat on that site, one lone man, accompanied by his only son, scaled the summit of that same mountain and constructed a simple altar of sacrifice. God had promised Abraham that he was the one chosen to be the father of a great nation—a nation whose descendants would be as numerous as the stars of the heavens. But there was a bit of a problem. He was already an old man, and his wife, Sarah, was decades beyond childbearing years. As though that were not problematic enough, she was also barren, having been unable to produce a child over the course of her entire life. Then came a miracle birth, not a virgin birth, but a miracle all the same. Isaac, through whom the world would be blessed by the eventual appearance of the Messiah, was born to Abraham and Sarah.
Times of blessing in life are often followed by times of testing. And so it was for Abraham. Isaac, this only son of Abraham and Sarah, was the heir who would carry forward God’s promise to Abraham. But God now instructed the father to sacrifice his son as a test of his trust. God wanted to know that Abraham’s faith was in His promise, not in his son, Isaac. Times have not changed much across the centuries. Many of us who have been so richly blessed by God can be tempted to transfer our trust from the One who blesses us to the blessings we have and hold.
Abraham’s response to this seemingly impossible challenge was one of faith, obedience, and trust in his God. There was no doubt, no defiance, no delay. He simply took God at His word, and the New Testament writer of Hebrews framed it thus: “By faith Abraham obeyed. . . . Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. . . . By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son” (Hebrews 11:8, 12, 17).
This trek of father and son up Mount Moriah is replete with one picture after another of a journey that would be taken some two thousand years later to the same mountain by our own heavenly Father accompanied by His only begotten Son and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon arriving at the foot of the mount of sacrifice, Abraham instructed his servant to stay there, saying, “The lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you” (Genesis 22:5). What was about to take place on that summit was a transaction between father and son alone. The same would be true at Mount Calvary (the northern extension of Mount Moriah). During those three hours of darkness while Jesus was on the cross, God the Father and God the Son did business alone. The agony of those hours was indescribable. While the final sacrifice for the sins of the world was being made, God closed the door to all human eyes and turned out the lights of heaven. For three hours, the eternal transaction for your sin and mine was between the Father and the Son alone.
Look closely at Abraham. He “took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son” (v. 6) as they journeyed up the mountain. This is a portent, a foreshadow, of the divine side of Calvary. Much of our thoughts concerning the cross are from the human side, what it means for us. But think of the divine side. Look at the Father’s heart as He placed the wooden cross upon the bruised and bloodied back of His own Son and watched as He carried it up the way to Golgotha, the place of execution.
As they journeyed along together, Isaac, bearing the wood for the sacrifice upon his back, made an inquiry of his father: “Where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (v. 7). Quick came Abraham’s response: “ ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb.’ . . . So the two of them went together” (v. 8). Yes! God Himself will provide the lamb. In fact, God Himself will be the Lamb, the sacrifice for our sin. It was of this very event and to these very words that Jesus addressed the Jews, saying, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).
Arriving at the summit of Moriah, Abraham meticulously built an altar; arranged the wood for the burnt offering upon it; then bound his son, Isaac; and laid him upon the altar. Then he “stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son” (Genesis 22:10). Immediately, the Angel of the Lord (the preincarnate Christ Himself) called to him from heaven, “ ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad . . . for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’ 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 . . . instead of his son” (vv. 12–14).
Our imaginations can only wonder what must have been racing through Abraham’s mind that day. Fifty years before, God had promised him a son. Thirty years passed, and God repeated the promise. It would take a miracle. But Abraham believed. Paul would later say, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). God kept His word. And Isaac was born and grew up. Then God tested Abraham, and when he kept the faith, God provided a substitutionary sacrifice, a ram. That ram is a beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus. You and I deserve to die, but Jesus provided Himself for the lamb. He rushed out to Calvary and took our place, bore our sin, died our death so we could live His life. He took our sin so we could take His righteousness. He is our substitutionary sacrifice and all-sufficient Savior!
“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’ ” (Genesis 22:14). If there is any doubt that Abraham understood what was happening that day, Jesus settled it two millennia later. When traversing those same dusty roads, He said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).
You and I have a God who can and will provide—who, in fact, provided Himself as our very own substitutionary sacrifice. No wonder when Jesus stepped from the obscurity of the carpenter’s shop to appear in the Jordan Valley, John the Baptist thrust a pointed finger in His direction and shouted, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Yes, we can find Jesus in every book of the Bible, sometimes in type, sometimes in shadow, sometimes in prophecy. And here in Genesis? He is that ram at Abraham’s altar, our own substitutionary sacrifice.
FINDING JESUS IN EXODUS
He Is Our Passover Lamb
“Every man shall take for himself a lamb . . . without blemish. . . . Kill it at twilight. . . . Take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses. . . . Now the blood shall be a sign for you. . . . And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
—EXODUS 12:3, 5–7, 13
For three and a half millennia one of the most important dates on the calendar for our Jewish friends is the evening each year when they celebrate the Passover Seder meal commemorating their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. For four centuries, they were slaves to Pharaoh and to Egypt. Then Moses returned from exile to be their emancipator, and God sent a series of plagues upon Egypt. The last was the most devastating: the death of all the firstborn throughout the entire land. To be spared the plague, the Jews were instructed to take a young lamb—perfect and without blemish—slay it, and spread its blood over the lintels and doorposts of their homes so that on the fateful night the Lord passed through, He would “see the blood” and “pass over.” Every home where the blood was applied was spared the death of their firstborn. They were saved by the blood of the sacrificed lamb.
That little lamb is a perfect picture of our coming Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Christ was in the prime of life when He went to the cross, the lamb had to be a male of the first year. Just as Christ was perfect and without sin, the lamb was to be “without blemish.” No wonder when Simon Peter spoke of Christ’s sacrifice he declared that we are saved by “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19). The description of this sacrificial Passover lamb is given in minute detail in Exodus, even to the specific instructions that not one of its bones was to be broken (Exodus 12:46). It is no wonder then that when the soldiers approached the cross, the Bible records, “But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. . . . These things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, ‘Not one of His bones shall be broken’ ” (John 19:33, 36).
The Israelites were saved on that death-filled night because by faith they applied the blood of the lamb to the doorposts of their homes. What a poignant and prophetic picture for those of us living in this dispensation. The Bible says, “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). The only way we can be saved from judgment is by applying the blood of our sacrificial Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, to the doorposts of our heart by faith in Him alone.
Across the years my wife, Susie, and I have intentionally made friends with Jewish people from Los Angeles to Dallas to New York to Jerusalem. On many a Passover evening, we have sat with them at their Seder meals. The dining tables are always beautifully set with all the elements to remind them of their forefathers’ deliverance from bondage. There is the shank bone of a lamb, the bitter herbs, the salt water, and all the other elements that give visual expression to their sojourn as they pass on their ancient tradition from generation to generation. For more than 3,500 years, the youngest family member seated at the table has asked the father four questions: Why is this night different from other nights, and on this night we eat only unleavened bread? Why on other nights do we eat all kinds of herbs, and on this night we eat only bitter herbs? Why on other nights do we not dip, but tonight we dip twice? Why on this night do we recline in our chairs at the table? The father then reads from the ancient Haggadah, the Passover book, explaining that the unleavened bread reminds them of the haste with which they had to leave Egypt, the bitter herbs of the bitterness of slavery and bondage, the dipping of parsley into the salt water of the deliverance through the Red Sea and the Egyptian army’s drowning in their pursuit. And, finally, the reclining at the table expresses their freedom in no longer being slaves.
Fifteen hundred years following that first Passover, Jesus gathered His disciples in an upper room on Mount Zion in Jerusalem to commentate the Passover with those nearest and dearest to Him. He knew when He passed the bread and lifted the cup that in a few hours His own body would be broken for us and His own blood would be poured out to make a way to heaven for us. Applying the blood to the doorposts of those Israelite homes meant two things: freedom from slavery and deliverance from death. Applying the blood of Christ to our own lives means the same two things: freedom from slavery to sin, which has its way of binding us and enslaving us, and deliverance from spiritual death. It’s no wonder Paul said, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Our Lord must have had this Passover lamb in mind when He engaged the skeptical religious leaders after healing a man at the Pool of Bethesda. For He said, “Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). When we look hard enough, we find Jesus in every book of the Bible, and nowhere is He more perfectly presented than here in the book of Exodus. For it is here that we find Jesus, our very own Passover Lamb.
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