Though I have read the Bible for most of my life, I am lousy at making connections throughout its books. I am guilty of not thinking critically when I read, of letting my mind wander. Last week though, I made a connection I’m not sure how I missed, one God had planned for centuries.
The story begins with Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. God tests Abraham’s faith by sending him to offer his son as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. After traveling 50 miles, Abraham had his knife in hand, ready to slay Isaac — the son Abraham and wife Sarah bore in their old age, a gift and promise from God.
An angel stopped Abraham from harming Isaac, and instead, a ram was offered as a sacrifice.
“So Abraham called the place The LORD Will Provide,” Genesis 22:14 reads.
Skip to 2 Samuel 24 — 14 generations later. Israel was at peace under King David, and yet, he insisted on taking a census of all the fighting men in the nation. After more than one million able-bodied men where counted, David was guilty from his selfishness.
Nonetheless, God punished David’s act by sending a plague across the land and killing 70,000 people, leading David to offer a sacrifice. As directed by God, David went to Araunah, bought his threshing floor and built an altar. And where exactly was Araunah’s threshing floor? Mount Moriah.
Another account of the same story is offered in 1 Chronicles.
“Then David said, ‘The house of the LORD God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel,’ ” 1 Chronicles 22:1 reads.
Now skip to 2 Chronicles 3. It was David’s son Solomon who would build the temple.
“Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David,” 2 Chronicles 3:1 reads.
Twenty-eight generations passed from David to Jesus, and the original temple had been destroyed and been rebuilt. The holy land was the site where Jesus cleared merchants from the temple (John 2:15) and near the Mount of Olives, where Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey (Matthew 21:1) and Golgatha, where Jesus was crucified (Matt. 27:23).
Thousands of years after Abraham almost sacrificed his own son on Mount Moriah, Jesus was sacrificed in the same area as atonement for the sins of all those who believe he is the son of God, a promise for Christ followers everywhere.