“When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and flaming torch passed between these pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your offspring I give this land.” Genesis 15:7-20
This is our third week in this passage. Has it dawned on you yet? Can you see the kind of covenant initiating-making-keeping-fulfilling God we serve? God chooses a pagan moon worshipper to covenant with. This guy sleeps through the whole covenant making process. His descendants repeatedly break the covenant. Finally they murder the One who came to fulfill it. And yet. God loves them. And every single one of His promises to Abraham are fulfilled in Christ Jesus.
He’s God and He became man. He’s the heifer, the goat, the ram the dove, the pigeon, slain and cut in half. He’s both sides of the animal pieces. He’s the smoking fire pot and the flaming torch that passes between. Jesus is the promise and the fulfillment. Everything else is a shadow. It’s all about Him.
In Exodus 12:1-28, when Moses prepares to lead Abraham’s offspring out of Egypt to the land God promised, even that was a shadow. The slaughtered lamb, the blood on the doorposts, the feast of unleavened bread, the curse of death, the passing through, the passing over, the promised land, it was all a shadow of the perfect fulfillment to come.
Do you know what word Peter uses to describe the hope of that fulfillment? GRACE. 1 Peter 1:12-25 says “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” And with that grace in mind Peter continues,
“Conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”
Before the earth was even hung in space, Jesus was the chosen Lamb for the sacrifice, made manifest for our sake, “who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” And ONLY in God. Not in our own ability to initiate, make, keep or fulfill any covenant. Like Abraham, we sleep the sleep of the dead unless He awaken us.
And how does God choose to awaken us? “Through the living and abiding word of God… And this word is the good news that was preached to you.” From the first book to the last, the message is clear and Revelation 5 gives us a beautiful glimpse of its heavenly proclamation:
“Weep no more; behold, The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered.”
“Worthy are You… for You were slain, and by Your blood You ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God.”
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
And just like the angelic beings around the throne of the Lamb, we can do nothing less than what we were made to do. Let us fall down and worship.