Abraham being placed on an altar as a young man and being rescued by an angel prefigures the sacrifice of Isaac and of Jesus Christ. Abraham’s complete obedience, trust, submission, and humility serve as examples still today.
“The Abrahamic Test,” Larry E. Dahl, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Old Testament
In spite of the contradictions and incongruities in God’s command that Abraham sacrifice Isaac, Abraham had faith to proceed. He had full confidence that somehow God could and would fulfill all His promises. What about us? There are individual and collective tests for the Saints.
“Elements of Sacrifice in Abraham’s Time and Our Own,” Blair G. Van Dyke, Religious Educator
What sacrifice is acceptable to God? This article looks at (1) sacrifice as a medium of testing our true intentions, (2) the significance of place (holy ground designated by God for the receipt of offerings), (3) the significance of altars, (4) the significance of rapport between sacrificer and sacrifice, and (5) the significance of sacrifices as a type or shadow of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
“An Expanded View of the Israelite Scapegoat,” James L. Carroll, Selections from the Religious Education Student Symposium 2005
There are many scripture stories about two individuals or groups where one is killed and the other is released or cast out. Analyzing these scriptural accounts can help us to understand the doctrinal themes of death and expulsion. Ishmael is a scapegoat, as he and his mother are sent into the wilderness. Isaac is allowed to go free and the ram takes his place.
“The Sacrifice of Isaac,” Hugh W. Nibley, Abraham in Egypt
The stories of the sacrifice of Isaac and of Sarah are perfect companion pieces to the drama of Abraham on the altar. Isaac and Abraham are alike in many ways, but most importantly on the altar. The events require submission, divine intervention, and substitution.
“The Sacrifice of Sarah,” Hugh W. Nibley, Abraham in Egypt
Sarah, like Abraham and Isaac, was also put to a test of faith when Pharaoh took her by force. Abraham obeyed God’s command to tell Pharoah that Sarah was his sister, and Sarah accepted Abraham’s plea that she also say she was his sister. Nibley looks at several ancient sources that add insight into this event.
“Abraham,” E. Douglas Clark, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Blessings of innumerable posterity were promised to Abraham on several occasions (Abr. 3:13-14; Gen. 13:16;15:5;17:2, 6), but it was not until he demonstrated his willingness to offer Isaac as a sacrifice that the Lord guaranteed those promises.