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Did God promise Abraham a sacrifice? - A reply

This article is a reply to the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMYhfJcRz7k
1st things 1st. The video was nicely made, and it does serve your purpose. It was also entertaining, so we can expect a lot of views in the future. When technology comes in, I go out! That is why I was thoroughly impressed.

But! As far as the content was concerned, that's where the host has to go out! : P It's a nice maneuver to bring such arguments in such aesthetics to generate the least suspicion. But anyone who watches the video with the least knowledge of these issues will not applause as was heard in the video. So here is a brief reply to some of the claims made in this video. May God guide us all.
 
Ok, in the first few seconds, the host said:

 “Well, Christians claim Abraham sacrificed Isaac while Muslims claim that it was Ishmael……”

Since we are discussing what “some” Christians believe, why make general statements about what Muslims believe? Why didn’t you mention “some” Muslims who DO NOT and I repeat do not believe that it was Ishmael? Let’s be consistent here shall we?

The host then proceeded to say that:

We will see whether the great sacrifice made by Abraham predicted the coming of Jesus as often claimed by our Christian friends”

This is the claim that the video sets out to refute. Before that, let me make clear what Christians actually believe about the great sacrifice and it’s relation to Christ. It will be explained in detail later, but here’s a summary of what we actually uphold.

We believe the role of Abraham (A.S) represents that of God, who was willing to give up His own son willingly, displaying His great love. On the other hand, both Isaac and that Lamb represent Jesus Christ who was both the willing Son and the substitute sacrifice.

So it is not only one aspect of this monumental story that Christians relate to their Master’s even greater sacrifice, there are many facets to the story. As far as I understand it, the host did not even mention this.

Then a brief summary of burnt offerings was mentioned and the host said that “some Christians (again “some”) claim that burnt offering merely poetic. Well I personally have never heard or read anything like that. Even if it is true that some Christians say that, what’s the point?

It seems that the host believes that we as Christians believe that each and every detail of Genesis 22 matches with the Crucifixion narratives of the Gospel accounts. And hence, since Jesus was not offered as a burnt sacrifice, therefore He cannot be the burnt offering. However, as I explained, this is not the Christian position, so it is useless to refute.
With that said, the text itself gives the impression that it was not the burnt offering that was central to the theme. Why? Because Leviticus was revealed centuries after the death of Abraham (A.S), so even the sacrifice he offered was not up to the Law. Consider the following differences keeping the texts from Leviticus given by the host in front of us. 

1) There were not Levites to carry out the ceremony (Lev 6:8)

2) There was no temple or Tabernacle to examine the Lamb (Lev 1:3)-Ironically, the Lord fulfilled this command to the core when he offered the religious leaders to examine Him (John 8:46)! He was also a “male without defect” according to the Qur’an (19:19)

3) Even the host said that burnt offering was a sin offering. If that is true, then God really told Abraham to sacrifice a human for his sins!

If you want to project the burnt offering as the criteria to settle the matter, then you would also have to believe that even in the Old Testament, there was a possibility of a human dying for another human’s sins. This actually refutes your case and proves ours! J

Then the host made some really interesting points, somehow trying to prove that it was a play. Abraham (A.S) knew all along what would happen, and even his son joined the play by remaining silent. Why did he send his servants back? Why did he say “God will, provide”, and why did the son remain silent? All this, according to the video proves that the man of God knew all along that there was no sacrifice.

Infact, the host said the son remaining silent is “absurd”. Well of course it is, because the Qur’an teaches it!

And when he had reached the age of running with him, he said, 'My son, I see in a dream that I shall sacrifice thee; consider, what thinkest thou?' He said, 'My father, do as thou art bidden; thou shalt find me, God willing, one of the steadfast.'  37:102

Look at the Qur’an itself Shaikh-ul Asif. Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son. He wasn’t fooling around. And why did the son remain silent? Because he obeyed his father. This is the Christian concept. God willingly offered the Son, and the Son obeyed His will without any complains. The Bible clearly teaches that the Lord accepted all this silently. This again, proves our position rather than yours.

Moreover, the Bible actually makes clear what Abraham really believed:

19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. Hebrews 11

You got that? Abraham (A.S) remembered the promise of progeny, despite that he was willing to kill his son. Why? Because he believed that God can even raise him back to life. This is the true faith of Abraham (A.S). Please don’t downplay it.

The Bible goes on to say :

10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son

11
 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

   “Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

He was going to slay his son. Don’t tell me that it was a drama on the part of Abraham and the son was lying there smiling knowing that it is all pretence. God had to stop him. This is also taught by the Qur’an in Sura Al Saffat, ayah 103. So, the host got it wrong once again.

Finally, the host provides some reasons why Jesus can’t be the sacrifice:

  1. Jesus wasn’t a burnt sacrifice
  2. Jesus was not cut down in pieces
  3. Jesus was not burnt on the altar for the whole night
  4. The ram was already provided on that mount

I have answered these points above. Needless to say, even if these points hold any weight, they are only 4 in number. What do you do with all the “more than 4” similarities between this story and that of our Lord?

ISAAC Genesis

JESUS 
Gospels

Only begotten Son

Gen. 22:2

John 3:16

Offered on a mountain, hill

Gen. 22:2

Matt. 21:10

Took donkey to place of sacrifice

Gen. 22:3

Matt. 21:2-11

Two men went with him

Gen. 22:3

Mark 15:27Luke 23:33

Three day journey. Jesus: three days in the grave

Gen. 22:4

Luke 24:13-21

Son carried wood on his back up hill

Gen. 22:6

John 19:17

God will provide for Himself the lamb

Gen. 22:8

John 1:29

Son was offered on the wood

Gen. 22:9

Luke 23:33

Ram in thicket of thorns, crown of thorns

Gen. 22:13

John 19:2

The seed will be multiplied

Gen. 22:17

John 1:12Isaiah 53:10

Abraham went down. Son didn't.  Isaac is "not mentioned"

Gen. 22:19

Luke 23:46

Servant, gets bride for son

Gen. 24:1-4

Eph 5:22-32;
Rev. 21:2,922:17

The bride was a beautiful virgin

Gen. 24:16

2 Cor. 11:2

Servant offered ten gifts to bride

Gen. 22:10

Rom. 6:2312; 1 Cor. 12

 

(http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/why-did-god-tell-abraham-kill-his-son-isaac)

The similarities far surpass the differences (which are a weak to begin with). Hence, the video, even though fun to watch, failed to bring any good argument.
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