SALAH ; An Analogy to God Giving His Only Begotten Son
It is difficult for muslims to consider the story of Abraham being willing to offer Isaac without seeing strong analogies to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
“Take your son, your only son…” (Genesis 22:2). In the New Testament we read: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“…Whom you love” (22:2). Twice God’s voice designates Jesus as his “Beloved Son” or “my Son, whom I love” (Matthew 3:17; 17:5). In the Parable of the Vineyard, the owner (who represents God) sends his “beloved son” (who represents Jesus; Luke 20:13).
On a mountain “in the region of Moriah” (22:2). 2 Chronicles 3:1 designates Mount Moriah as “the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite,” which became the site of the temple and, later, the present-day site of the Dome of the Rock (Qubbat al-Sakhra). This Muslim mosque is built over the holy place where Islam teaches that Abraham sacrificed his son Ishmael (not Isaac). Golgotha was not on this exact site, but close by (in “the region of Moriah”).
“God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering” (22:8). Jesus is designated several times as “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29, 36), especially in the Book of Revelation (5:6-13; 6:1, 16; 7:9-10, 14, 17; 12:11; 13:8; 14:1, 4, 10; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7, 9; 21:9, 14, 22-23, 27-22:3).
It is difficult to escape the conclusion that this story of Abraham is like an acted out prophecy of the unimaginable — the Heavenly Father who offers his only Son, the Son whom he loves, on the cross, as a Lamb that only he can provide, to accomplish what only he can accomplish — to take away the sin of the world.
Abraham’s anguish and resolve help us to understand just a tiny bit our Heavenly Father’s love for us and his determination to save us, whatever the cost.