desertmountainGod chose the spot where he asked Abraham to build an altar and sacrifice his son Isaac. God told Abraham to take the boy to “a place I will show you.”  It was several days’ walk from where Abraham lived in the Negev desert.  When they got close, Abraham laid the firewood on the boy’s shoulders, and Isaac walked up the mountain with it. There God provided the actual sacrifice, a ram.

This very place, Mount Moriah, was also the spot God instructed David to purchase as a place to set up an altar for sacrifices, the spot that would later become the site for the Temple.

And, centuries later, it was the same mountain that Jesus walked on, carrying his cross in the footsteps of Isaac. Beloved son of God, following the beloved son of Abraham, each carrying wood for the sacrifice.

It’s the parallel a novelist would invent, for imagery and emphasis. But it’s for real.

References: Genesis 22; 2 Sam. 24; 2 Chron 3:1-2