A Type Lesson On the Story of Calvary
Dr. Joe Temple

Open your Bibles, please, to the Book of Genesis, chapter 22. We have talked about this chapter from a testing standpoint, and now we want to think about it from a typical standpoint. I think it would be well for us to read the chapter once again, and then we will go back over it and notice certain things together:

Genesis 22:

1And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
6And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
15And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
19So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

You will keep in mind that we have considered this chapter as a test in Abraham's life, one of four. Each of the previous surrenders prepared Abraham's heart for this last great test of his life, when he was called upon of God to surrender his son.

We told you that there is another lesson that we should derive from this chapter, one to which we refer as a typical lesson.

Examples for Our Admonition

If you are not familiar with a typical study in the Word of God, we would remind you that God has suggested to us that the Word of God is written not only for information that it contains about actual experience, but also for the lessons that may be derived from the type represented. One of the most interesting ways to study the Word of God is by type.

This is not a statement that just I am making. It is a statement that is emphasized for us in the Word of God. That you may see that, I would like for you to turn to I Corinthians, chapter 10:

I Corinthians 10:

1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Notice this next verse, please:

I Corinthians 10:

6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
11Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. [More literally, upon whom the ends of the age are come.]

Twice in this paragraph are we told that certain things are written in the Word of God for our ensamples or examples. This word ensamples comes from the Greek word tupos from which we get our English word type . This suggests to our mind that we should find these passages of Scripture not only actual incidents themselves but types of spiritual truths.

Righteousness Through Faith

Will you turn, please, to the book of Romans, chapter 4, which tells the story of the manner in which God inputed righteousness to Abraham because Abraham was willing to believe the Word that God gave concerning the future coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is recorded about Abraham in verse 21:

Romans 4:

21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Notice now:

Romans 4:

23Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

We see from verse 23 that the record of Abraham's experience was not written just to give us the record, but it was written also that there might be presented to us a type of an additional spiritual truth.

If you will turn back with me now to the Book of Genesis, chapter 22, I would like to suggest that we notice the typical lesson found here as it illustrates the truth concerning Calvary. The story of Calvary is typically presented in Genesis, chapter 22. The story of the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is typically presented in Genesis 22.

I would like to guide your thinking by noticing nearly every verse in the fore part of the chapter, because each verse in that section is filled with typical meaning.

The first thought comes to us concerning the place called Calvary. Do you remember in the New Testament story concerning the death of the Lord Jesus Christ it is recorded, “They came to a place called Calvary.” That is the first step we take in noticing the typical illustration in Genesis, chapter 22.

Calvary In Moriah

I want to suggest to you that the mountain upon which Abraham offered his son, Isaac, was none other than Mount Calvary. That puts us on the ground floor, so to speak, in understanding our typical lesson.

Will you notice the first verse of Genesis, chapter 22:

Genesis 22:

1And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Abraham was instructed to go to a certain place for the sacrifice of his son. That place is called the land of Moriah. In the original, the word Moriah means the Lord provides . In the land of Moriah he was instructed to go to a certain mountain…not just any mountain, but a distinct and definite mountain.

If you will glance further down in the chapter, you will notice in verse 14 that the mountain is called the mountain of the Lord .

Genesis 22:

14And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.

So, in the land of Moriah, on a certain mountain called the Mount of the Lord, Abraham was to offer his son.

If you are familiar with the geography of the Holy Land, you realize that the land of Moriah was the exact location of the string of mountains of which Calvary was one. If you are familiar with references to Calvary, not in the Word of God, but out of the Word in common every-day usage, you will remember it was called the Mount of the Lord.

So it seems to me certainly significant, as we endeavor to notice the typical illustrations of this chapter, that the very setting tells us the story of Calvary. The mountain upon which Isaac was offered was the Mount of the Lord, Mount Calvary.

An Only Son

If you will look at the second verse again, you will notice a relationship that existed between Abraham and his son, Isaac, as typical of the relationship that existed between God and His son, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Genesis 22:

2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah…

The relationship of Abraham to his son was that Isaac was specially beloved, and the only begotten of the father. Do not be confused by the fact that Ishmael also was the son of Abraham. The reference to Isaac's being the only begotton of the father is a reference to God's purpose. Ishmael was born outside the purpose of God.

As we think about this relationship there come to mind a number of passages of Scripture. We mention only two of them to you, because our time is limited.

You are familiar with the Golden Text of the Bible, John 3:16:

John 3:

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…

The whole tenor of that verse of Scripture is that God robbed Heaven of the dearest thing it had, to give earth the greatest thing it would ever know.

Then in the book of Romans, chapter 8, verse 32:

Romans 8:

32He that spared not his own Son…

The inplication of that verse is that if God spared not His only Son, the Son of His love, the Son of His bosom, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

A Planned Sacrifice

We find that the place is typical, and the relationship of the father and the son is typical. Even the plans and the preparations are typical of the plans and the preparations related to the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Abraham's and Isaac's case, it was a preparation of three days' duration.

Yu will notice in Genesis, chapter 22, verse 3:

Genesis 22:

3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

This certainly indicates that the sacrifice of Isaac was not an on-the-spur-of-the-moment decision, and it was not something done under the stress of a great emotion. It was pre-determined and pre-planned.

Will you turn with me, please, to the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, which you will remember is the sermon which Peter delivered on the day of Pentecost.

We will not take the time to read the whole Scripture, but only that portion which deals with the typical suggestion which we are considering, beginning with verse 22.

Acts 2:

22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Historians write about the last part of that 23rd verse; novelists write about only the last part of that 23rd verse…wicked hands have cricified and slain the Lord Jesus Christ

But the Bible emphasizes the first part of the verse, that the wicked hands did take and crucify the Lord Jesus Christ, but the Lord Jesus Christ was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. In other words, Jesus Christ was not crucified because a mob got out of control. Jesus Christ was crucified because God had a plan in relation to Him.

Abraham was carrying out God's plan in relation to Isaac.

If you will turn over a page in the book of Acts, to chapter 4, you will find yet another sermon in which this same thing is emphasized. Once again, we will not take the time to read the whole sermon, but you will notice in verse 23:

Acts 4:

23And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.

Then they went to prayer:

Acts 4:

24And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
27For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,

Notice the next verse:

Acts 4:

28For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

You see, Pontius Pilate, Herod, the Gentiles, the people of Israel, were only doing something that God had already determined long years ago would be done.

We say to you that the death of the Lord Jesus Christ was not the result of uncontrolled mob action. It was according to the plan of God.

As we turn back to Genesis, chapter 22, noticing the typical parallel in the life of Abraham and Isaac, we realize that there was nothing hurried in Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac.

The Sacrifice and Two Others

Will you look at verse 3 again and notice the accuracy of the Scripture even in relation to the minor details concerning the story of the crucifixion:

Genesis 22:

3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

Will you notice two things in this verse of Scripture which remind us of the Lord Jesus Christ. How many men went with the Lord Jesus Christ toward Calvary? Two, were there not? Just two. Isn't it a significant thing that Abraham did not take five men, or six? He took two. It is true that in the Word of God, two is the number of witness. It is significant to my mind that two men should be taken in this Old Testament story, so that when the New Testament occurrence should actually come to pass, there would be no contradiction in the Word.

Then, did you notice that as the Lord Jesus Christ bore His cross, Isaac bore the wood for the sacrifice? Here again there is a typical illustration of the truth of the Word of God.

If you will glance down at verse 5, you will notice that Abraham said:

Genesis 22:

5…unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

There was a place where these two young men had to stop. They could not go all the way. If we were to take the time to read the story of Calvary as it is presented in the Gospels, we would find that there was a place where the two men who were crucified with the Lord Jesus Christ could not go. True, they went to Calvary. True, they were crucified one on either side of the Lord Jesus Christ. But you will remember that just before the Lord Jesus Christ gave up his life, three hours of darkness came over the scene and no one, absolutely no one, actually knew what transpired during those three hours but God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here in the Old Testament in this typical illustration of this New Testament truth, we find the accuracy of the Word of God. When it came time for the actual sacrifice of Abraham's son, nobody, abosolutely nobody, was going to witness it save Abraham and Isaac.

Bearing the Sacrifice Wood

Up toward Mount Moriah they went…Isaac, according to verse 6, bearing the wood and illustrating Christ bearing the cross.

You will notice in verse 6 that Abraham took fire in his hand and a knife, and the two of them went together. It is significant that Abraham took fire in his hand, because fire in the Word of God is a type of judgment. From the first time it is mentioned in the 1st chapter of the book of Genesis when the angel with the sword of fire stood outside the Garden of Eden as a judgment upon Adam and Eve for having partaken of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, until the last book of the Bible when the last judgment is passed upon the last of God's creatures and they are cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity, fire is a symbol of God's judgment.

You will remember that when the Lord Jesus Christ died upon the Cross it was God's judgment upon the world. That is the reason why Abraham took the fire into his hand. Remember it is recorded in the 12th chapter of the Gospel of John that when the Lord Jesus was on the earth, a group of Greeks came to see Him. Quite naturally, they went to Philip, who was the only Greek among the twelve. They said Philip, “We would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to the Lord Jesus Christ and said, “Some of my friends out here would like to see you.” The Lord Jesus Christ answered, “The only way they are going to see me is when I am crucified, when I die on the Cross, when the judgment of the world falls.” He uttered a tremendous truth when He said, “Now is the world judged. Now is the prince of the world cast out.” That statement describes what happened on the Cross of Calvary…the judgment of sin, the judgment of the world. That is the first real judgment that should affect you now. If you have received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, then you share in that judgment, because as we are going to see, the Lord Jesus Christ died there as a willing sacrifice for your sins.

A Willing Sacrifice

Notice what is brought out in Genesis, chapter 22, verse 7:

Genesis 22:

7And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

This last statement, “Abraham bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood,” is typical of the willing sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ did not have to die. He did not have to! He willingly became a sacrifice for your sins and mine. That is evident through all the crucifixion story. If you will take the trouble to read the story as it is presented in the Gospel of Matthew, you do not find the Lord Jesus Christ gasping for breath and holding on to life with a last desparate clutch as we all do when we die. Everybody struggles to live. We do not want to die. But read the story in the Gospel of Matthew and you read that the Lord Jesus Christ dismissed His spirit, just as a master with a great many slaves might dismiss his servant. “You may go now.” That is exactly how the Lord Jesus Christ died. He dismissed His spirit. He was not forced into it. He was a willing sacrifice.

You may be saying, “How is that illustrated in the manner in which Isaac was offered?” You will notice that Abraham bound Isaac and put him on the altar and laid the wood on him and got ready for the sacrifice. If you would take the trouble to go back to the time that Isaac was born and to read the suggestions concerning dates in intervening chapters, you would find that Isaac at this particular time was twenty two years of age, and his father was well past a hundred years of age.

Most of the pictures show the sacrifice of Isaac as a little boy and his father as a stalwart man. The suggestion in the picture is that the little boy was put on the altar, and there was not anything he could do about it. But the accuracy of the Scriptures demands that we recognize that Isaac was a stalwart young man of twenty two, and he could have over-powered the older man, and could have said, “I am not about to let you do a thing like this.” But he did not. He willingly laid himself upon the altar that the type might be accurate.

Guarded Facts in Scripture

If you have taken much time in studying types in the Bible, you will notice that the Holy Spirit guards the facts of the Scriptures so that the type might not be interrupted or deformed.

Do you remember the story of Moses in the wilderness? Remember, the children of Israel were thirsty one day, and they needed water, and there was none. God drew the attention of Moses to a rock in the wilderness, and God said to Moses, “Strike the rock!” Moses did, and water gushed out, and all the Israelites had all the water they needed to drink.

Then things went along very well, and by and by they came to another dry time in their lives, and like us, they were prone to forget the provision of God. They began to murmur and complain and to say to Moses, “You brought us out here so we would thirst to death. What kind of a God do we have that He cannnot do something for us?” On and on they went until Moses was thoroughly irritated.

Then God called Moses' attention to the rock again. He said, “Moses, there is the rock.” Notice carefully. God said to Moses, “Speak to the rock.” But Moses not only spoke to it, he hit it twice because he was mad! The water came forth all right, but God said, “Moses, you have done a very grievous thing. Because of this thing that you have done, you are not going to enter the Promised Land.”

That did not mean he was not saved. It did not mean he did not go to Heaven. That meant that he did not go into the land of Canaan. God said, “I am going to take you upon the mountain, and I will let you look into the land of Canaan, but you cannot go in because you struck the rock twice.” “Why, Lord? What difference does it make?” “The rock is a type of Christ. Christ had to die only once. You made him die twice by striking the rock twice. You spoiled my picture, and that is a serious thing . All you ever needed to do was to speak and the water would have come forth.”

So it is today. The Lord Jesus Christ does not need to be crucified every Sunday as the Catholics claim in their mass. He does not need to be crucified every time you sin and confess your sin. He dies once and for all for the sins of the world, and all that anybody needs to do now is to have the blood of the Lord Jesus applied to his heart and to acknowledge his sin. Speak to the rock, that is all, and the blood of Jesus Christ flows in cleansing power.

I mention that illustration to emphasize to you that God guards the type in the Word of God with great jealousy. So He did in this particular instance at which we are looking. Isaac was a willing sacrifice for his father, as the Lord Jesus Christ was for your sins and for mine.

God changes the type. Inter-related, yes, but the type is changed. He must change it momentarily to present the full truth that He would have us know. You remember that Abraham was ready to plunge the knife into the bosom of his son in chapter 22, verse 11:

Genesis 22:

11And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven…

And in the 12th verse:

Genesis 22:

12And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

Notice this verse:

Genesis 22:

13And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

The type changes from the son of Abraham to the ram caught in the bushes that we may learn by emphasis and double reference the truth concerning substitutionary atonement. The ram died instead of the son. Where did that ram come from? Herein lies a spiritual truth. Isaac was interested in that.

If you will glance back up at verse 7 you will notice that Isaac said:

Genesis 22:

7…Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

Where is the lamb? Abraham said in the next verse:

Genesis 22:

8And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering…

God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering. The ram that was caught in the thicket was God's provision. There are two things we need to learn about it. One of them is that God provided. Nobody else could. Can you think of anything any dearer or more precious to you (we are thinking on a human level now) than one of your children? Can you think of anything more precious than that?

Providing An Acceptable Sacrifice

If God had not changed the type right here, the story would have been ruined. Men would have thought they could attain salvation by surrendering the dearest possession that they had. But the dearest possession that Abraham had could not meet the demands of God. God had to provide His own Lamb.

That is the reason that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross . If you should give to God the dearest thing that you have, if you should give to God the most valuable thing in your possession, it could not satisfy the demands of God. That is the reason that God sent his Son into the world that you and I might have eternal life. Not one mortal is capable of purchasing his own salvation. It is an utter impossibility. God had to do it for us. So the ram tells the story of God's provision.

There is another truth I would like to leave with you. I referred to the fact that there were three days involved in this experience related to Calvary. Previously, you will remember, we turned to the book of Hebrews to learn that Abraham believed that Isaac would be restored to him even if it was necessary for God to raise him from the dead. The writer of Hebrews said that in a very real sense Isaac was resurrected. True, he never did actually die, but as far as Abraham's surrender was concerned, he was dead. For all practical purposes he was resurrected from the dead.

Here again the type is true to the exact detail, because the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the third day. This is but another illustration of how the Old Testament verifies the New and the New verifies the Old.

I close with this thought because I brought you this lesson not only for the lesson itself, but as an illustration of some of the riches that are obtained in the Word of God if you take the trouble to mine them out.

Someone said that the New Testament is in the Old concealed and the Old is in the New revealed. The New Testament is concealed in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. When you learn to put the two together, you will find some precious truths in God's word.


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