1. A FIGURE OF CHRIST
a. Who was Isaac a figure of? Genesis 22:7–9; Hebrews 11:17–19.
“Isaac was a figure of the Son of God, who was offered a sacrifice for the sins of the world. God would impress upon Abraham the gospel of salvation to man. In order to do this, and make the truth a reality to him as well as to test his faith, He required him to slay his darling Isaac. All the sorrow and agony that Abraham endured through that dark and fearful trial were for the purpose of deeply impressing upon his understanding the plan of redemption for fallen man. He was made to understand in his own experience how unutterable was the self-denial of the infinite God in giving His own Son to die to rescue man from utter ruin.”—Testimonies, vol. 3, p. 369.
b. How did God reveal to Abraham the day of Christ? Genesis 22:13; John 1:29; Isaiah 53:7.
“Abraham . . . was shown that in giving His only-begotten Son to save sinners from eternal ruin, God was making a greater and more wonderful sacrifice than ever man could make.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 469.
2. THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE
a. Describe how God tried to reveal to Abraham the depths of the great sacrifice He was making in giving His only begotten Son. Genesis 22:11, 12, 16; 1 John 4:9, 10.
“Our heavenly Father surrendered His beloved Son to the agonies of the crucifixion. Legions of angels witnessed the humiliation and soul anguish of the Son of God but were not permitted to interpose as in the case of Isaac. No voice was heard to stay the sacrifice. God’s dear Son, the world’s Redeemer, was insulted, mocked at, derided, and tortured, until He bowed His head in death. What greater proof can the Infinite One give us of His divine love and pity?”—That I May Know Him, p. 20.
“The agony which [Abraham] endured during the dark days of that fearful trial was permitted that he might understand from his own experience something of the greatness of the sacrifice made by the infinite God for man’s redemption.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 154.
b. Explain how Jesus knew, just like Isaac knew, that it was His Father that was offering Him up as the sacrifice for the whole world. Genesis 22:10; Matthew 26:38, 39; Philippians 2:8.
“Jesus left His home in heaven and came to this dark world to reach to the very depths of human woe, that He might save those who are ready to perish.”—The Bible Echo, January 1, 1893.
c. What was the greatest pain Jesus suffered during His ultimate sacrifice? Psalm 69:18–21; Isaiah 53:4, 10, 12.
“It was the anguish of separation from His Father’s favor that made Christ’s sufferings so acute. . . . His terrible anguish, caused by the thought that in this hour of need God had forsaken Him, portrays the anguish that the sinner will feel when, too late, he realizes that God’s Spirit is withdrawn from him.”—Mind, Character, and Personality, vol. 2, pp. 464, 465.
3. FORSAKEN FOR SIN
a. Why was Christ forsaken and Isaac was not? Genesis 22:12; Matthew 27:42, 43, 46; John 3:17; 12:27; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
“The angels of heaven sympathized with their loved Commander. Gladly would they have broken their ranks and gone to His assistance. But this was not God’s plan.”—The Upward Look, p. 223.
“Voluntarily our divine Substitute bared His soul to the sword of justice, that we might not perish but have everlasting life.”—Selected Messages, bk1, p. 322.
b. What is significant about Abraham’s servants staying behind and only the father and son going to the altar together? Genesis 22:3–5, 8; John 16:32.
“With amazement angels witnessed the Saviour’s despairing agony. The hosts of heaven veiled their faces from the fearful sight. Inanimate nature expressed sympathy with its insulted and dying Author. The sun refused to look upon the awful scene. Its full, bright rays were illuminating the earth at midday, when suddenly it seemed to be blotted out. Complete darkness, like a funeral pall, enveloped the cross. . . .
“In that thick darkness God’s presence was hidden. . . . The Father was with His Son. Yet His presence was not revealed. Had His glory flashed forth from the cloud, every human beholder would have been destroyed. And in that dreadful hour Christ was not to be comforted with the Father’s presence.”—The Desire of Ages, pp. 753, 754.
c. How do we know that Christ was forsaken but not lost? Isaiah 54:7, 8; Acts 2:22–24, 27; 1 Corinthians 15:55–57.
“Jesus was laid in the tomb. He went into the darkness of the grave and tasted death for every man. But He did not long remain under the power of the enemy. A mighty angel came from heaven and rolled back the stone from the sepulchre. . . . Christ came forth from the tomb a triumphant conqueror and led forth from their graves a multitude of captives.”—The Signs of the Times, November 25, 1889.
4. A RISEN SAVIOUR
a. Describe how Abraham believed in the power of the resurrection. Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:19.
“This son [Isaac] had been unexpectedly given; and had not He who bestowed the precious gift a right to recall His own? Then faith repeated the promise, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called’—a seed numberless as the grains of sand upon the shore (Genesis 21:12). Isaac was the child of a miracle, and could not the power that gave him life restore it? Looking beyond that which was seen, Abraham grasped the divine word, ‘accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead’ (Hebrews 11:19).”—Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 151.
b. Explain what Christ’s death and resurrection mean to humanity.Hebrews 2:14, 15; 2 Timothy 1:10; Romans 6:5.
“Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ’s word of power. God is saying to all who are dead in sin, ‘Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead’ (Ephesians 5:14). That word is eternal life.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 320.
c. How important is Christ’s victory over death to the believer? 1 Corinthians 15:12–19; 1 Peter 1:3; John 11:25, 26.
“The captives brought up from the graves at the time of the resurrection of Jesus were His trophies as a conquering Prince. Thus He attested His victory over death and the grave; thus He gave a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all the righteous dead.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 5, p. 1109.
“He alone . . . who is able . . . to raise His saints from the grave and clothe them with immortality, giving them everlasting victory over death and the grave, is able now to keep the souls of all committed to His trust against that day and to deliver them in their perplexities.”—Manuscript Releases, vol. 21, p. 273.
5. THE JOY OF SALVATION
a. How did Abraham feel when God revealed Christ as the Saviour over sin and death? John 8:56; Why should Christians be the world’s most joyful people? Philippians 4:4; Acts 2:25–27; 1 Thessalonians 5:16.
“When in most discouraging circumstances, which would have had a depressing influence upon halfway Christians, [Paul] is firm of heart, full of courage and hope and cheer, exclaiming, ‘Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say, Rejoice’ (Philippians 4:4). The same hope and cheerfulness is seen when he is upon the deck of the ship, the tempest beating about him, the ship going to pieces. He gives orders to the commander of the ship and preserves the lives of all on board. Although a prisoner, he is really the master of the ship, the freest and happiest man on board.”—My Life Today, p. 334.
b. Why is singing and praising the Lord an essential part of our faith? Psalms 98:1–6; 95:1–8; Revelation 15:2–4.
“As the people [of Israel] journeyed through the wilderness, many precious lessons were fixed in their minds by means of song. . . .
“Thus their thoughts were uplifted from the trials and difficulties of the way, the restless, turbulent spirit was soothed and calmed, the principles of truth were implanted in the memory, and faith was strengthened.”—Education, p. 39.
“If more praising of God were engaged in now, hope and courage and faith would steadily increase.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 202.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. In what ways was Isaac a type of Christ?
2. How does Abraham’s experience reveal the depths of God’s sacrifice?
3. Explain why Christ had to experience the feeling of being forsaken.
4. What does the resurrection mean to the Christian?
5. What is the best cure for depression?