God builds his altar
Genesis 22:1-2 (NKJV Version) – Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 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.
This was a test of faith and a test of obedience to see if Abraham would obey God’s command. Genesis 22:5 – Abraham was preparing to go and took servants with him on the journey. Then he told his servants to stay – he and Isaac will go to the mountain to worship and we will come back to you. Abraham had faith that somehow, both would return because he knew God’s power. The offering of Isaac was a shadow of God offering his son Jesus Christ to save the world. Abraham was given a glimpse of the future. John 8:56 – Jesus said to the Jews, your father Abraham foresaw my death and resurrection. Genesis 22:17-18 – I will bless you and multiply your descendents as numerous as the stars and sand. In your seed, all the nations will be blessed. This was fulfilled 2,800 years later on the same mountain in the land of Moriah through Abraham’s seed, Jesus Christ, was the blessing for all nations Galatians 3:16.
What God did to build His altar:
1. God chose the location of His altar
1 Chronicles 21:25-26 King David gave Ornan, a gentile, 600 shekels of gold for eight acres of land in Moriah so Solomon could build the temple. Ornan did offer to give the land to David for free so that God’s temple could be built however David said no and paid for it as he did not want to go before the Lord empty handed.
David also paid 50 shekels of silver to build an altar to the Lord on the land he bought. David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar. God answered by fire from heaven and consumed the sacrifice.
2 Chronicles 3:1 Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in the land of Moriah where God appeared to his father David and gave him instructions on how to build it.
God chose one of the mountains in the land of Moriah, present day Jerusalem to build His temple. God also chose the Mountain of Calvary, the highest peak in the land of Moriah, to build His altar to sacrifice His only son Jesus.
2. God built His altar according to his own pattern, an altar of earth
Exodus 20:24 – an altar of earth you shall make for me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and peace offerings. In every place where I record My name, I will come to you and I will bless you. This was not an elaborate altar, God built an altar made of earth untouched by man.
When Abraham sacrificed Isaac, Isaac himself carried the wood up the mountain. Abraham laid Isaac on the wood ready for the sacrifice. God spared Isaac but He did not spare His own son Jesus.
Jesus carried the wooden cross up the Mountain of Calvary for His own sacrifice. The cross rested on the ground then soldiers laid Jesus on top of the cross and nailed Him to it. Then the cross was lifted up and rested on the altar of earth. It was an altar built by God according to His pattern. On the altar of earth God sacrificed His Son.
3. God sacrificed his son Jesus Christ
God chose His sacrifice His only son Jesus to redeem the lost world. John 3:16, John 1:14.
- Jesus was a perfect sacrifice
God’s sacrifice was a perfect sacrifice as Jesus is perfect without spots or wrinkles. The sinless died for the sinful. 2 Corinthians 5:21 – For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
- Jesus was a living sacrifice
Matthew 27:34 – they gave him sour wine mixed with gall to drink but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. This drink would numb the pain but Jesus refused to drink this. He was a living sacrifice and experienced all the human suffering every physical pain, suffering and humiliation. Jesus as a living sacrifice carried all our guilt and shame on the cross so that He could be our great high priest interceding for us before the Father forever.
- Jesus was a complete sacrifice
Hebrews 10:12-13 – this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
Jesus was a complete sacrifice once for all. His blood has the power to cleanse all our sins not just covering. God demonstrated His acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice by raising Him from the dead. Jesus completed his redemptive work and is sitting on the right hand of the Father.
God built His altar to sacrifice His son for the sin of the world.