The Gospel, Part 7
A couple weeks ago we examined the gospel in the story of Abraham and Isaac, and last week we touched on the foreshadow of Christ in the Passover celebration. This week let’s look at one way these two connect and the promise it means for us.
Immediately following Abraham’s obedience in offering to sacrifice his son Isaac to God, we read the LORD saying to him, “I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice” (Gen 22:17-18). This was a promise God made to Abraham and his offspring, which would become the nation and people of Israel, but note that God said “all the nations.” This is important!
During the time of Joseph (Gen 37-48), Israel came to Egypt during a great famine on the earth, was exceeding blessed, and over 200 years grew to a very large populace inside the borders of Pharoah’s nation. Pharoah become frustrated and put the Israelites into increasingly harsh slavery.
We see in Exodus 2:24-25, “so God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them.” With this, God appointed Moses to lead His people out of Egypt and into the promised land.
Under orders from God, Moses demanded Pharoah release the Israelites, but as we know this didn’t go so well and it took ten supernatural plagues to convince Pharoah to do what God had commanded. The last plague was by far the worst, and to protect His chosen people from this wrath God instructed each family of Israelites to sacrifice a lamb without blemish and put its blood on the doorpost of their home. That night, the Lord struck Egypt with the final plague, but “passed over” each home marked with the blood of a lamb.
God instructed the Israelites to remember this event each year on the 14th day of 1st month (Exo 12:6, Lev 23:5). This marked the institution of Passover, an annual celebration of God’s protection and sustained covenant between Himself and Abraham’s descendants, and a shadow of the Messiah’s sacrifice as a sinless Lamb (without blemish in God’s sight) whose blood covers and saves believers from the wrath of God.
God’s covenant with Abraham was everlasting (Gen 17:7) and unbreakable, and by grace we modern-day Christians share in this promise and covenant through our faith in Christ. Paul confirmed this in Galatians 3:14: “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith,” and verse 29, “and if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.”
What a wonderful blessing this is! Christ’s blood covers our sins, protects and saves us from God’s wrath, and extends His everlasting covenant with Abraham to each one of us who believe and obey in faith.