Questions & Answers

Harold S. Paisley

Question: If Isaac is a type of the Lord Jesus in Genesis 22, would it be correct to say that the ram is also a type of Christ?

Answer: We believe that both Isaac and the ram typify Christ. It is not unusual in typical Scriptures to find our Blessed Lord represented in a variety of ways in a single ordinance or event. On the Day of Atonement when two goats were taken, one was slain, the other was the scapegoat. Both were pictures of the work of Christ. In the first we have typified the death of Christ as that which meets the claims of God and vindicates His character. It is the great truth of propitiation. In the second, the sacrifice of Christ as it meets our need - Christ the bearer of sin. The One glorious person and work is thus set before us in such passages of God's Word. In like manner in Genesis 22 we may see in Isaac a type of Christ as given up by the Father to death and received again in resurrection. We may also see in the ram bound upon the altar a type of Christ as the substitute having died for others. The young man Isaac and the ram caught in the thicket thus suggest two different aspects of the Saviour and His death upon Calvary.

Question: Is it correct to state that Christ did not atone for sins because the word atonement is only found once in the New Testament? (Romans 5:11).

Answer: The Hebrew word rendered "atonement" signifies a covering. The word "atonement" (Rom. 5:11) has its correct rendering in the R.V. as "reconciliation." This is also confirmed in the context (verse 10).

It is always a safe guide to adhere to the phraseology of Scripture in speaking of the Death of Christ. W.E. Vine shows to associated words to denote "propitiation" hilasterion and hilasmos. These are important. The first in Romans 3:25 states, "God set forth Christ to be a propitiation through faith." The latter in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, "He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only but also for the whole world." In the first Scripture stress is placed upon the sacrifice itself. In the second it is the act of propitiation. Christ is thereby the "propitiation" for our sins. Propitiation is the basis of reconciliation. The latter follows where the truth of propitiation is received by faith in the One who shed His precious blood. We are then at that moment of trust reconciled to God. We are at peace with Him through the acceptance of the pardon freely offered on the ground of the propitiatory sacrifice. An understanding of these two great words is essential to the setting forth of the blessed gospel of the grace of God.