On a hill long ago, Someone died for doing nothing at all. In being obedient to his Father's will, He showed His Father's love.
And thousands of years before His arrival to our dying planet, God painted a picture of what that love would look like. You see, His Son would become flesh and dwell as Deity among humanity. But the Father -- His losses would be less tangible in the eyes of His creation. So rather than using reams of paper and additional doctrinal points to show us His side of the sacrifice, He gave us a story.
Abraham was another father; Isaac another son. The mother in this story is distant, almost nonexistent. There was another mountain far away from their home. It was a new place. There was another pile of wood, another willing son tied to it; another group of two men on the same journey, yet not called to the same fate. There were another father's tears; another son's prayers; another story of love and self-sacrifice.
And it started in the beginning*... "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. ..." (Rev. 13:8).
The following analogies are based on Genesis 22.
"Thine only son:" In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him (1 John 4:9). See also Hebrews 11:17.
"Take now thy son, ... whom thou lovest:" This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Mathew 3:17).
"Get thee into...:" And the Word ... dwelt among us... (John 1:14).
"For a burnt offering:" ...He offered up Himself (Hebrews 7:27).
"One of the mountains I shall tell thee of:" The mountain on which Christ died (Calvary) is not named until the Gospels.
"Rose early in the morning:" And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed (Mark 1:35).
"Saddled his ass:" Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass (Zechariah 9:9).
"And took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son:" And there were also two other ... led with Him to be put to death (Luke 23:32). The modifying phrase "to be put to death" can apply to either the "two other" or to "Him." In context, both "the two other" and "Him" are punished with death. But in this analogy, we may say "Him to be put to death" (or "the One to be put to death").
"The wood for the burnt offering:" And He bearing His cross... (John 19:17).
"Rose up, and went unto the place of which God has told him:" ...The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (John 18:11).
"Abide ye here ... and I and the lad will ... come again unto you:" But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee (Matthew 26:32).
"And laid it on Isaac his son:" And He bearing His cross... (John 19:17).
"And he took the fire:" Our God is a consuming fire... (Hebrews 12:29).
"And a knife:" Who whet their tongues like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: that they may shoot in secret at the perfect... (Psalm 64:3-4).
"Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father:" My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? (Psalm 22:1).
"God will provide Himself a lamb:" Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh the sins of the world! (John 1:29).
"And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order,and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar:" He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth (Isaiah 53:7).
"And Abraham stretched forth his hand ... to slay his son:" For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
"Ram caught in a thicket:" They platted a crown of thorns... (Matthew 27:27).
"In the stead of his son:"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:28).
*Genesis is the Greek word for "nativity."