Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. – Luke 24:27
A Bit Of History
The burial of Sarah is the first account of a burial in the Bible, and Abraham’s purchase of what became the family’s burial plot, Machpelah, is the first commercial transaction mentioned in the Bible.
Traditionally, the next burial in the cave is that of Abraham himself, who at the age of 175 years was buried by his son Isaac. The third burial was that of Isaac, by his two sons Esau and Jacob. Isaac died when he was 180 years old. Isaac’s wife Rebecca was also buried in Machpelah. Rachel, Jacob’s wife was buried near Bethlehem where she died in childbirth, while Jacob’s wife Leah was buried in Machpelah.
Jacob died at the age of 147 years. And, in the final chapter of Genesis, Joseph had his physicians embalm his father Jacob, before they removed him from Egypt to be buried in the cave of the field of Machpelah. (Some information gathered from the Jewish Virtual Library)
Jesus, too, when dead, was laid in a tomb, but He didn’t stay there! He arose, making the way for our resurrection and eternal life for all who put their faith in Him Matthew 27:5-6. Okay, that was a bit of a rabbit trail, but I hope you found some value in it.
Return To Eve
So, we’re going to visit a site where Jesus is plainly seen in the life of Abraham. First, we need to return to Eve (see From Eve to Mary), and God’s Word through her. Genesis 3:15: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
Next, we need to visit Abram when he received the promise from God. Abram didn’t see all that God was doing, but God’s promise is foundational to His chosen people of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and for all the Gentiles that would be grafted in. Genesis 12:7: Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
And finally, we see the revelation that Abraham’s promised Seed is Jesus, the Son of God. Galatians 3:16: Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. The passage goes on to explain that an inheritance was promised to Abraham’s Seed (Christ) apart from the Law. Later, the Mosaic Law was introduced, but it did not annul the promises made to Abraham or to Abraham’s Seed (Christ). Also, as Jesus proclaimed, “Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)
Okay, we’re going to dust off one more siting of Jesus in the life of Abraham. There is no place in the Old Testament where Jesus is more plainly seen than in Abraham’s sacrifice.
No doubt you know about this event. God tells Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him to Almighty God. Abraham takes Isaac and together they walk up Mount Moriah. God’s command was that Abraham would sacrifice his only son. Abraham was obedient to what God told him to do and Isaac was obedient to what his father told him to do.
Here are some key verses:
- Genesis 22:7: And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
- Genesis 22:8: Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
- Genesis 22:13: And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
Many theologians believe that the ram was immediately created by God’s power since a ram caught in a thicket would be making a ruckus! The ram truly was a “type” of our Lord Jesus, who uncommonly came into the world, being born of a virgin. There are many possible “types” for the ram caught in a thicket, but certainly one “type” is that the thicket points to the crown of thorns that was put on Christ’s head (Matthew 27:29). Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
We’ve clearly seen Jesus in the life of Abraham, and this is attested to in 1 Peter 1:19-20: But with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you.
God’s Word Is Amazing
God’s Word is so amazing and so tightly woven together. If we pull a verse or two out of context, the verses seem strange, but when we leave them within the whole Word of God they are perfect and beautiful.
Well, we could linger with Abraham for a very long time but we have many more places to (re)discover Jesus. Tomorrow, we will dust off Isaac and his wife Rebekah (Heb. רִבְקָה).