Advent: Week 1 Day 4
Here we have Abraham in two different scenes:
Abraham and the Covenant (upper left)
Here is depicted the mystical vision in which God instructs Abraham to take certain animals and sacrifice them, dividing them in two, then God sends His light (a firey lantern) between the divided parts. That ritual enacted the covenant as an ancient contract sealed in blood; it hints at a future covenant to be sealed in God's own blood: blood of Abraham's perfect descendant. "More numerous than the sands of the seashore, or than the stars of the sky, so shall your descendants be: I swear by Myself; they will be My people, and I will be their God."
Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac (lower right)
God orders Abraham to go to the Mount of Moriah and sacrifice Isaac, his only son. At the very last moment, God stops Abraham from the actual sacrifice... The young Isaac, carrying the wood up the hill suggests another Man carrying wood up the hill called Skull-Place (Calvary, or Golgotha). As they go up the hill Isaac asks, "Where is the lamb for the sacrifice?" and Abhraham answers "God will provide it." And surely, in God's good time, He does. Only that time, the sacrifice is not interrupted, despite the best efforts of the jeering Pharisees: "if you are the son of God, come down from that cross, and we will believe." But God was not fooled: He did sacrifice His only Son.
It is said that Mount Moriah is an ancient name for the hill of Jerusalem.