Intersection Column | Pictures and Patterns
by Angela Hunt
I have often heard that the gospel of Jesus is in every book of the Old Testament, but I never realized how true that was until recently. I learned to see Him when I worked on my doctorate in theology, but it wasn’t until I began to read books by Messianic Jews that I began to see the pictures.
The Bible is filled with picture patterns that illustrate God’s truths. For instance, consider Noah, who believed God, built an ark and saved humankind by delivering his family from the deluge. Now consider Moses, whose mother believed God and built a tiny ark, and her son saved the Jews by delivering them from Egypt.
Remember when the Israelites were attacked by venomous snakes in the desert in the book of Numbers? God told Moses to create a bronze snake, affix it to a pole and lift it high. Those who had been bitten had only to look at it, and they would be saved. Sounds like an odd cure, doesn’t it? But God was painting a picture, and Jesus Himself explained it generations later: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life!” (John 3:14–15).
But the picture that gives me goosebumps is the one contained in the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah. This picture is so precious I used it in The Apostle’s Sister.
After Abraham and Isaac climbed the mountain without a sacrifice, Isaac asked, “Who will supply the lamb?” Abraham answered, “God will provide for Himself a lamb for a burnt offering, my son” (Genesis 22:8). In the scriptural story, however, God doesn’t supply a lamb but a ram. That’s a picture being painted. From the Hebrew, Abraham’s reply could be translated: “God will provide Himself a lamb for the burnt offering. God will provide Himself a lamb in His Son.”
Do you see it? God is painting the picture of Jesus’ sacrificial offering. God provided the Lamb of the world in His Son. For Abraham, God provided a ram. For sinful men, God provided the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Abraham named that place Adonai Yireh, meaning “on the mountain, Adonai will provide.”
On that same mountain, generations later, God provided the ultimate sacrifice that brings salvation to all who accept it through faith. He had first promised salvation in Genesis: “I will put animosity between you and the woman—between your seed and her seed. He will crush your head, and you will crush his heel” (3:15). The woman’s Seed—Jesus—was wounded by the tempter, but through His death and resurrection, Jesus crushed his head. The evil struck a severe blow, but the victory was God’s.
God is omniscient; He knew the strength of Abraham’s faith. So why did God want to test Abraham in the first place? Perhaps He wanted Abraham to experience His loving provision. Or perhaps the lesson was intended for Isaac. Perhaps the experience was primarily for us . . . so we can see that God’s love has provided the perfect sacrifice. If we fear God and believe Him, we can rejoice in that same provision.
About the Author
Angela Hunt is the author of more than 150 published books and has over 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide. Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, and ACFW presented her with the same award in 2019. In 2006, Angela completed her doctorate in Biblical Studies and her Doctor of Theology in 2015. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs and chickens. Learn more at www.angelahuntbooks.com
About the Book
Aya, daughter of Zebulun of Tarsus, does not want a traditional life. After years of being overshadowed by her brilliant brother Sha'ul, she wants a chance to use her own gifts beyond being a wife and mother. A dedicated scholar, Sha'ul, or Paul, returns to Tarsus to follow the instructions of the Law and earn a seat on the Great Sanhedrin—the highest religious court in the land. But when the Nazarene, Yeshua, and His followers bring trouble to the Holy City, Sha'ul will stop at nothing to silence them.
Did You Know?
According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC), nearly 94,000 people were missing in the United States as of December 31, 2021. While no one wants to experience a missing loved one, acting fast if someone does go missing can make a huge difference. Here are some things to do if someone you know disappears unexpectedly.
Contact the police immediately, especially if the missing person is a child or teen. While in the case of an adult, the police might not open an investigation, it’s best to report the circumstances as soon as possible.
Call anyone the person knows, including friends, co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, etc., to gather information. Ask about the last time they heard from the missing person and how the person seemed at the time.
Register them with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System at this website: www.findthemissing.org.
Check area hospitals, churches, libraries, homeless shelters and places the person frequented. However, hospitals and homeless shelters might not be able to confirm a loved one is there because of confidentiality.
Post a one-page flyer around the area where the person went missing with details, such as last known address and hometown, including state; age and physical description (hair and eye color, height and weight); two recent photos; vehicle license plate number and picture of car (if vehicle is missing too); and way to relay information (phone number, website, police station or officer in charge, etc.).
-Sarah Hamaker, Vanished Without a Trace
Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore
“I enjoy shopping at bookstores for two reasons: 1) I can actually “touch” the book and get a feel for it. 2) Bookstores will give me book signing opportunities. E-book online stores cannot give me that opportunity to meet fans face to face.”