First of all, Abraham placed wood on Isaac’s shoulder. The same word for wood is also used in Deuteronomy 21:23, 'cursed is he who hangs on a tree', referring to Jesus. The wood stands for the cross which is symbolic of ‘carrying out God’s will.’ The wood was placed on Isaac’s shoulders just as the cross was placed on Jesus’ shoulders, therefore 'shoulder' is symbolic of responsibility. Isaac carried out the will of his father just as Jesus carried out the will of His Father.
Matthew 16:22-24 KJV, ‘Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’
The word ‘deny’ is translated 'to forget one's self, lose sight of one's self and one's own interests' (1). In other words, it is your responsibility to live your life according to God’s will and not your own will.
Abraham carried the fire from where he left his servants to where the altar would be built. Jesus would later send His Holy Spirit from heaven to baptize His people hearts with fire. God required a burnt offering meaning nothing of Isaac would be left (Numbers 14). God wants us to allow the Holy Spirit to consume everything and anything in us that would take His place.
Luke 3:16 NLT, ‘John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.’
Exodus 29:15-18 describes the steps of the burnt offering. The animal was to be slaughtered, bled out, cut into pieces by removing the internal organs from the external organs, and then burned in its entirety. That was what Abraham was prepared to do to Isaac. The knife Abraham carried with him would be very sharp and was probably used specifically for sacrifice.
The Word of God is a sharp knife, a two edged sword. It is so sharp it differentiates our hidden internal thoughts and motives from our external actions and behavior.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT, ‘For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.’
When an animal was offered to the Lord, it had to be perfect in every way with absolutely zero defects. God considered Isaac a perfect offering. Isaac was a type and shadow of Jesus in this beautiful analogy. Isaac was willing to be the perfect sacrifice. Jesus did become the perfect sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 NLT, ‘And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.’
The phrase ‘they walked on together’ appears twice in these two verses. The repetition emphasized that father and son were in complete unity. The first time Abraham and Isaac ‘walked together’, they were heading toward their spot of worship. Both Abraham and Isaac loved and worshiped the One True God.
The second time it is recorded ‘they walked together’ was in response to Isaac’s question, "Where is the sheep for the burnt offering?" Abraham’s response was, "The Lord will provide." The word ‘provide’ actually means 'to consider, perceive, inspect, to see' (2). Abraham’s response made it clear to Isaac that he was the lamb the Lord required. Provide is also interpreted 'to be seen', future tense. I believe Abraham was also referring to God’s own Son as he had witnessed in a vision just moments before (A Life for a Life). Isaac, in full agreement, continued to walk on with his father, prepared to lay down his life as a holy sacrifice.
Amos 3:3 NHT, ‘Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?’
For us to be in complete unity and agreement with God, we must:
- Deny ourselves and live according to God’s will for us
- Be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire
- Allow God’s Word to expose our innermost thoughts and desires
- Live a holy life
Father, I see Your requirements from Abraham and Isaac, and I understand what You require of me. I choose Your will for my life. I ask that You baptize me with the Holy Spirit and with fire. I allow Your Word to expose my innermost thoughts and desires. I choose to live a holy life. I want to walk in unison with You all the days of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
I choose God’s will for my life.
Holy Spirit baptizes me with His fire.
God’s Word exposes my innermost thoughts and desires.
I live a holy life.
I walk in unison with God my Father, and Jesus my Lord.