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The Sacrifice of Isaac and Jesus’ Crucifixion Essay Sample

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The Sacrifice of Isaac and Jesus’ Crucifixion Essay Sample

            The Bible in a general and broad perspective contains narratives with themes and elements similar in almost every aspect.  The Binding of Isaac and the Suffering and The Suffering and Death of Jesus Christ, for instance, appear to constitute a similar concept, though the two narrations are found in different books.  The concept and premise of ultimate sacrifice as well as unconditional love and redemption are implied in both stories, the aforementioned reasons then rouse interests in comparative analyses.

            The Binding of Isaac in the twenty-second chapter of the book of Genesis entails God commanding Abraham to go to the land of Moriah where the latter is commanded to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac in a mountain (New American Bible, Gen, 22. 1-19).   Similarly, Christianity displaced a similar account in Jesus Christ’s predestined suffering and death as God in his own choice sacrificed his only begotten son to redeem humanity from the corruption of sin.

            The essential element of father, who sacrificed his own flesh and blood, together with the idea of unconditional love are notable on both accounts.  In Isaac’s Binding, Abraham resembled God, and Isaac being the sacrifice, resembled Jesus Christ.  The unconditional love in the stories of Isaac and Jesus is found on both the fathers, for Abraham, his love and devotion to God prompted him to sacrifice his own son, as per God’s commandment.  God, on the other hand in his unconditional love for humanity, sent his only begotten son to redeem the world.  Jon Levinson notes the symbolic child sacrifices in The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity that “both the Jewish and the Christian systems of sacrifice come to be seen as founded upon a father’s willingness to surrender his beloved son and the son’s unstinting acceptance of the sacrificial role he has been assigned in the great drama of redemption” (p.175).

            Purpose is another similarity between the fates of Isaac and Jesus for their sacrifices both meant redemption for Israel and humankind, respectively.  In Isaac’s case, God chose him as the sacrificial lamb to pay the price for Israel’s sinful ways (Gen. 22. 2).  Likewise, the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ redeemed humanity from being totally consumed by sin (Matt. 23-25).

            The chronicles of Isaac and Jesus, apart from similarity in context also differ in other ways, a notable affinity is that both individuals were forced to carry heavy wood on their backs.   Isaac, on his way to the sacrificial mount carried wood to start fire on his shoulder’s (Gen. 22. 6-7).  Likewise, Jesus carried wood in the form of a cross en route to his place of crucifixion, Golgotha (Matt. 27. 26-33).  Though the two differ in such a way that Isaac is unaware that his ultimate act will mean redemption for Israel, while Christ is fully aware that his fate and its consequences will be humanity’s salvation from sin.

Works Cited

Levenson, Jon.  The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son: The Transformation of Child    Sacrifice in Judaism and Christianity. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1993.

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