The initial image of Jesus “carrying the cross himself” in John 19:17 reveals Jesus’ control over his destiny, as well as his willingness to sacrifice himself and suffer for the salvation of all people. The meaning this verse offers, however, can be deepened in context with the Akedah: God’s instruction to Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. In the story, God directs Abraham to bring Isaac—Abraham’s dearly beloved son—to Mount Moriah to be sacrificed. Once there, “Abraham [takes] the wood for the burnt offering and [lays] it on his son Isaac” (Genesis 22:6). Abraham then binds Isaac, but just as he prepares to sacrifice his son to God, an angel stops him. This passage, which reveals Abraham’s deep faith and trust in God, also conveys a sense of acceptance and belief in God’s plans. The similarity in both Isaac and Jesus carrying their own wood for their respective sacrifices suggests a connection between the two, and thus the New Testament text gains new meanings in light of this. It reveals that Jesus, like Isaac, carries his own burdens, trusting in his father’s plans du...
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...versal act intended for the world, not solely the Jews. Additionally, John’s extended description of the inscription conveys its significance, and the inscription also acts as “a final offer of salvation, a last chance for everyone.” Thus, Jesus is depicted as not only the King of the Jews, but a worldly king who extends his teaching to all people, a task eventually carried out by his disciples and through the establishment of the Church worldwide.
The Akedah in Genesis and the various prophecies of a Messiah scattered throughout the Old Testament expose Jesus’ willingness as an instrument in God’s plan for salvation and expand his kingship beyond Jews to the whole world. In this way, the Old Testament writings, when considered in context with the New Testament, allow connections to be drawn that add new and deeper meanings to the analysis of biblical passages.
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