In many ways Genesis 22 is the climax of Abraham’s story, a story that has essentially been about his son Isaac. The birth of Isaac passed briefly but this event a chapter later that truly pulls everything together. Abraham’s story will have three further chapters including the death of this man and his bride, and the finding of a bride for the promised seed. First though, to Genesis 22. Previously we had Abraham's two sons, one in the wilderness, one by the tree, one without inheritance, one an inheriter... How does that happen?
In Genesis 22 consider the people involved. Abraham, God's righteous man is here. So too is the LORD (Christ – v1, 11, 15, 16). Also we see Isaac, the promised seed (v2 ‘your son, your only son, whom you love’!). Isaach the promised seed carries the wood up to where the burnt offering will be made for sin (see also Leviticus 8v18). In this scene Christ is everywhere - Abraham, Isaac, the mountain, the sacrifice, the LORD himself... Genesis 22 has gospel written all over it.
Consider the place. Christ calls him to the mount of blessing and curse. Where do these events happen? Moriah. This is where the Son of David will build the temple 2 Chronicles 3v1. The place of sacrifice for sin. What happened last time Abraham was here? He met the king of Salem and God blessed him (Genesis 14v18-19) – compare that with what faces him here? Last time blessing now it looks like curse...
Consider the purpose. Christ tests Abraham’s faith. 22v1 – Testing Abraham’s faith. What happens? Hebrews 11v17-19 – he acts in faith and figuratively the promised seed is raised from the dead. When does this happen? All of this, on the third day. On the third day! The day of the seed (like the original third day), the day of victory and enthronemen (for David), the day of resurrection. Isaac's third day is one that looks ahead, pre-figuring the day when Christ the substitute God provides for our sin will be raised. Raised, and then life breaks out - the first-fruits and then the harvest of new life.