The Sacrifice Of Isaac, Or The Old Testament’s Greatest Scene -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 18:1 (Summer 2009)
Article: The Sacrifice Of Isaac, Or The Old Testament’s Greatest Scene
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

The Sacrifice Of Isaac, Or The Old Testament’s Greatest Scene

An Exposition Of Genesis 22:1-191

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Lewis Johnson served as a teaching elder and regularly ministered the Word at Believers Chapel in Dallas for more than thirty years. At that time he was a guest speaker at conferences in Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, Jamaica, and Europe. During his academic career he held professorships in New Testament and Systematic Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He also served as visiting Professor of New Testament at Grace Theological Seminary and as visiting Professor of Systematic Theology at Tyndale Theological Seminary in Amsterdam, Netherlands. At the time of his death in January 2004 he was Professor Emeritus of New Testament Studies at Dallas Seminary. Both MP3 files and printed notes of Dr. Johnson’s sermons and theological lectures may be downloaded from the web site of the SLJ Institute «».


Can there be any doubt that this scene, that of the sacrifice of Isaac by his father Abraham, is one of the greatest in the history of the salvation of God? It lays solid claim to being the greatest scene recorded in the Old Testament and, in fact, may be surpassed in the New Testament only by the sacrifice of the Son of God at Calvary. When the Greatest Father offered up his Isaac, the real Lamb of God, the scene pictured in the twenty-second chapter of Genesis found its proper climax and antitype. That the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the offering of Isaac surrounds the latter with a reflected glory. It is, therefore, one of the most famous types, if not the most famous, in the Bible.

Abraham, with whom God had made his fundamental covenant of salvation, was tested at the point of his trust in God, and that is the ultimate test. That he succeeded in the test is remarkable indeed. One commentator writes:

Here was a proof of how much mortal man will do for the love of God. Here was an evidence of childlike faith which must have thrilled the

heart of the Eternal God, and moved Him in the very depths of His being. Do you and I love God like this? Is He more to us than our nearest and dearest? Suppose they stood on this side, and He on that side: would we go with Him, though it cost us the loss of all? You think you would. Aye, it is a great thing to say. The air upon this height is too rare to breathe with comfort. The one explanation of it is to be found in the words of ou...

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