We have seen how Abraham was, so very long ago, given a promise, the fruits of which are continually making global news headlines even today – 4000 years later. If we wonder if the Promises and events recorded in the Veda Pusthakan – the Bible – are true and trustworthy please read them and then scan news headlines and you will see that they are living and in force today. Because Abraham trusted this promise he was given righteousness – he achieved moksha not through rigorous merit but received it as simply as one receives any free gift.
His account continues and now focuses on how he achieved an enlightenment and insight such that he attained Samadhi and became like a Rsi. He was a Sage with penetrating insight. This achievement was also a direct sign for you and me so that we also could follow in the path that he went. This Sign opens with Prajapati – The Creator God – asking Abraham to sacrifice his one and only son, Isaac, for whom Abraham had waited many years, and on whom all his hopes for his future nation rested. At this point, Abraham encounters his greatest test which also provides a Sign to give us a glimpse into a covenant that God was going to give him – a foreshadowing of the Gospel. I encourage you to read the full account in Genesis concerning the test of the sacrifice of his son here.
The Sacrifice: looking to the future
We can see from the account that this was a test for Abraham, yet it is also written for us. To understand Abraham’s enlightenment we need to note key observations from the account. As it records, Abraham had been commanded to sacrifice his son and just when he is about to do so he is commanded to stop. The account then records immediately after that:
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place ‘The LORD Will Provide’. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” (Genesis 22:13-14)
Notice the name that Abraham gave to that place where the test occurred. He named it ‘The LORD will provide’. Is that name in the past tense, present tense or future tense? It is clearly in the future tense. And to be even more clear the comment which follows (which Moses inserted when he compiled this account into the Jewish Vedas – the Torah – about 500 years later) repeats “…it will be provided”. This is also in the future tense – thus also looking to the future. But this naming occurs after the sacrifice of the ram (a male sheep) occurred in place of Isaac. That ram was already dead and sacrificed when Abraham gave the name. Many who read the account think that Abraham, when naming that place, is referring to that ram caught in the thicket and sacrificed in place of his son. But it is already even burnt up at this point. If Abraham is thinking of the ram – already dead, sacrificed and burnt – he would have named it ‘The LORD has provided’, i.e. in the past tense. And Moses, if he was thinking of the ram that took the place of Abraham’s son would have commented ‘And to this day it is said “On the mountain of the LORD it was provided”’. But Abraham clearly named it in future tense and therefore was not thinking of that already dead and sacrificed ram. He was enlightened to something different. He had insight into something about the future. But what?
Where the sacrifice happened
If we look for a clue we see that the place where Abraham was told to go for this sacrifice was:
Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” (v.2)
So this sacrifice happened in ‘Moriah’. Where is that? Though it was a wilderness area in Abraham’s day (2000 BC), a thousand years later (1000 BC) King David established the city of Jerusalem there, and his son Solomon built the First Temple there. We read later in the Old Testament historical books that:
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)
In other words, ‘Mount Moriah’ in the time of Abraham was an isolated mountain top in the wilderness but 1000 years later through David and Solomon it became the central city of the Israelites where they built the Temple to the Creator. And to this very day it is a holy place for the Jewish people.
Jesus – Yeshu Satsang – and the Sacrifice of Abraham
And here we find his enlightenment pointing to Jesus and a New Covenant. This is apparent when we consider one of the titles of Jesus. Jesus had many titles associated with him. Perhaps the most well-known title is ‘Christ’. But he had another title given to him that is very important. We see this in the Gospel of John when John the Baptist says of him:
The next day John (i.e. John the Baptist) saw Jesus (i.e. Yeshu Satsang) coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. This is the one I meant when I said ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me’”. (John 1:29-30)
In other words, Jesus was also known as ‘The Lamb of God’. Now consider the end of Jesus’ life. Where was he arrested and crucified? It was in Jerusalem (which as we saw is the same as ‘Mount Moriah’). It is very clearly stated during his arrest that:
When he [Pilate] learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at the time.’ (Luke 23:7)
In other words, the arrest, trial and sentencing of Jesus happened in Jerusalem (= Mount Moriah). The Roman historian Tacitus corroborates the place of Jesus’ crucifixion as ‘Judea’, the Roman province that Jerusalem was the capital of. He writes:
“…Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius; but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea…” (Tacitus. Annals XV. 44. He was a Roman historian writing in 116 AD)
So Jesus’ death is placed in Judea by extra-Biblical historians, where Jerusalem was located.
Let us now think back to Abraham. Why did he name that place in the future tense ‘The LORD will provide’? How could he know that something would be ‘provided’ there in his future that would so precisely mirror what he enacted on Mount Moriah? Think about it – in that drama Isaac (his son) is saved from death at the last moment because a lamb is sacrificed in his place. Two thousand years later, Jesus is called ‘Lamb of God’ and is sacrificed on the same spot! How could Abraham have known this would be ‘the spot’? He could only have known and been able to predict something that remarkable if he had received enlightenment from Prajapati, from the Creator God himself. And so Abraham demonstrates that he was a Rsi that could see (and show for us) the path of a new covenant that God was making.
A Divine Mind Reveals Himself
Indeed it is as though there is a Mind that is connecting these two events even though they are separated by 2000 years of history.
The figure illustrates how the earlier event alludes to the later one and was configured to remind us of the later event. This is evidence that this Mind is revealing Himself to us by coordinating events though separated by thousands of years. This is a Sign that God has spoken through Abraham.
Good News for you and me
But this account is also pertinent to us for more personal reasons. To conclude this Sign God declares to Abraham that
“…and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me” (Genesis 22:18)
Do you, no matter what your language, religion, education, age, gender, or wealth not belong to one of the ‘nations on earth’!? Then this is a promise that is given specifically to you! And notice what the promise is – a ‘blessing’ from God himself! This was not something solely for the Jews, but for people all over the world.
How is this ‘blessing’ given? Well, the word ‘offspring’ here is in the singular. It is not ‘offsprings’ as in many descendants or peoples, but in the singular as in a ‘he’. It is not through many people or a group of people as in ‘they’. This parallels exactly the Promise given at the beginning of history when a ‘he’ would ‘strike the heel’ of the serpent as recorded in the Hebrew Vedas and also parallels the promise of the sacrifice of Purusa (a ‘he’) given in the Purusasukta. Here now the very place – Mount Moriah ( = Jerusalem) – is predicted giving further detail to these ancient primal promises. The details of the drama of Abraham’s sacrifice help us understand how this blessing is given.
How is the Blessing of God obtained?
Just like the ram saved Isaac from death by being sacrificed in his place, so the Lamb of God, by his sacrificial death, saves us from the power and penalty of death. The Bible declares that
… the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)
This is another way of saying that the sins we do produce a karma that results in death. But in this drama death was avoided by the lamb substituting for the son and Abraham simply had to accept it. He did not and could not merit it. But he could receive it. This is exactly how he achieved moksha.
This shows us the path we can follow. Jesus was the ‘Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’. This also has to include your sin. So Jesus, the Lamb, offers to ‘take away’ your sins. It is like He is offering to cleanse you of your sins. You cannot earn this but you can receive it. Call to Jesus, the Purusa, and ask him to take away your sins. His sacrifice gives him that power. We know this because it was foreshadowed beyond that of chance coincidences in the remarkable account of the sacrifice of Abraham’s son on Mount Moriah, the same spot where 2000 years later it ‘was provided’ by Jesus.