In the course of my Bible study with my cousin I recently learned something that blew my mind: When Abraham obeyed the Lord’s command to (do everything up to) sacrifice his own son, Isaac wasn’t a young boy. In fact, he was probably in his 20s or 30s. (Some think he was 33, presumably because that is probably how old Jesus was when He was sacrificed.) And Abraham was more than 100 years old.
Therefore, Isaac obeyed his father’s plan that involved sacrificing his own beloved son.
Other parallels are that Isaac had to carry the wood (Jesus carried His own cross), and some argue (though others say it can’t be) that the location of Abraham’s altar on this episode was the same place where Jesus would be crucified almost two thousand years later.
Other observations to help make this story more understandable to modern readers:
==> God stopped Abraham before he actually killed Isaac. The point wasn’t that God demanded a sacrifice, the point was that God wanted Abraham to acknowledge that he would surrender everything to the Lord.
==> It was customary for pagans of that day to sacrifice their kids to appease their gods. So rather than concluding, “Ugh! The Old Testament is gross! God asks for a human sacrifice!” the point is rather, “Unlike the other deities of that age, the God of Abraham did not actually want him to kill his son.”
==> God gave up His only Son to be killed for us. God was only testing Abraham (without actually requiring it) to do something that God Himself would actually follow through with, centuries later.