Jesse Tree Day 7: The Sacrifice of Isaac

Hello and welcome back to our Illustrated Jesse Tree devotional that we are doing during Advent to prepare ourselves for the Christmas season! Today, we’re going to focus on the Sacrifice of Isaac, which was when God called Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac. This is something that definitely should remind you of Jesus! Anyway, without any further ado…


The Sacrifice of Isaac

A Reading from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 22:1-18)

After these things, God tempted Abraham, and said to him: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am.

He said to him: Take thy only begotten son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision: and there thou shalt offer him for an holocaust upon one of the mountains which I will shew thee.

So Abraham rising up in the night, saddled his ass: and took with him two young men, and Isaac his son: and when he had cut wood for the holocaust he went his way to the place which God had commanded him.

And on the third day, lifting up his eyes, he saw the place afar off.

And he said to his young men: Stay you here with the ass: I and the boy will go with speed as far as yonder, and after we have worshipped, will return to you.

Abraham and Isaac Walk to the Sacrifice, by Pedro Orrente, c. 17th century. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.
Abraham and Isaac Walk to the Sacrifice, by Pedro Orrente, c. 17th century. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

And he took the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon Isaac his son: and he himself carried in his hands fire and a sword. And as they two went on together,

Abraham and Isaac, by Gainsborough Dupont, c. 1787. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia, United States.
Abraham and Isaac, by Gainsborough Dupont, c. 1787. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, Virginia, United States.

Isaac said to his father: My father. And he answered: What wilt thou, son? Behold, saith he, fire and wood: where is the victim for the holocaust?

And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for an holocaust, my son. So they went on together.

And they came to the place which God had shewn him, where he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it: and when he had bound Isaac his son, he laid him on the altar upon the pile of wood.

Abraham Preparing to Sacrifice Isaac, by Charles-Antoine Coypel, c. 1736. Private collection.
Abraham Preparing to Sacrifice Isaac, by Charles-Antoine Coypel, c. 1736. Private collection.

And he put forth his hand and took the sword, to sacrifice his son.

And behold an angel of the Lord from heaven called to him, saying: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: Here I am.

Sacrifice of Isaac, by Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1635. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
Sacrifice of Isaac, by Rembrandt van Rijn, c. 1635. State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

And he said to him: Lay not thy hand upon the boy, neither do thou any thing to him: now I know that thou fearest God, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake.

Abraham's Sacrifice of Isaac, by Federico Bencovich, c. 1715. Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters, Zagreb, Croatia.
Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac, by Federico Bencovich, c. 1715. Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters, Zagreb, Croatia.

Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram amongst the briers sticking fast by the horns, which he took and offered for a holocaust instead of his son.

Sacrifice of Isaac, by Caravaggio, c. 1603. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.
Sacrifice of Isaac, by Caravaggio, c. 1603. Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

And he called the name of that place, The Lord seeth. Whereupon even to this day it is said: In the mountain the Lord will see.

Abraham and Isaac, by Jan Lievens, c. 1638. Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, Germany.
Abraham and Isaac, by Jan Lievens, c. 1638. Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum, Brunswick, Germany.

And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, saying:

By my own self have I sworn, saith the Lord: because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake:

I will bless thee, and I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea shore: thy seed shall possess the gates of their enemies.

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Agnus Dei, by Francisco de Zurabarán, c. 1635-40. Museo de Prado, Madrid, Spain. Via IllustratedPrayer.com
Agnus Dei, by Francisco de Zurabarán, c. 1635-40. Museo de Prado, Madrid, Spain.

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

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