Passover and the Night to be Much Observed have deep spiritual meaning for us. What happened on those two days and what does it mean for the Church brethren today? Passover commemorates the sacrifice of the Lamb of God and the death of Jesus Christ, while the Night to be Much Observed commemorates Israel’s exodus from Egypt. These two observances are closely tied together. In Genesis 14 and 15 we find events which prefigure Passover and the Night to be Much Observed. The Bread and Wine that Melchizedek brought to Abram were symbols of the New Covenant!
“Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and He was the priest of the Most High God”. (Genesis 14:18)
The bread and wine were symbols which prophetically pointed to Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. Melchizedek brought forth this bread and wine on Passover at the beginning of the 14th of Abib at the same time of day that Jesus instituted the New Covenant bread and wine.
God promised Abram and his offspring, with an incontrovertible oath, that he would become a great nation—Abraham himself being a father of many nations (Genesis 12:2, :7; Galatians 3:16; Genesis 17:5). The problem in Abram’s mind being advanced in age was that he yet remained childless. Abram asked God for some reassurance.
“After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless... And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed… And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying… he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And He brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.” (Genesis 15:1-5)
This vision took place during the night portion of the 14th of Abib. When Abram asked for a sign from the Lord that he would indeed inherit the land and children, the Lord had him prepare a very special Covenant Sacrifice on Passover Day.
“And [Abram] said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.” (Genesis 15:8-10)
Then as this Passover Day comes to an end, we come to the Night to be Much Observed [before it is called that]. It is the night portion of the First Day of Unleavened Bread. As the 15th of Abib began, Abram fell into deep coma-like trance as the Lord prophesied to him of things to befall his children (Genesis 15:12-16). Then in the dark of night, the Lord gave Abram the sign he had requested:
“And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram.” (Genesis 15:17-18, Hebrews 6:13-14)
What Abraham saw was like a bright blast furnace – a brilliant shaft of light that passed through the sacrifice! Jesus Christ made a very emphatic point of passing through the pieces of the Sacrificial Covenant. This was an oath by God Himself—This was the Covenant Sacrifice. The smoking furnace, and a burning lamp – that was Jesus Christ – the God of the Old Testament passing between those pieces. God, Himself, passes between the pieces of the Sacrificial Covenant—that is, He makes and enters into the unilateral covenant that only He can bring to pass.
Jesus said in effect, “I will give my life to bring this covenant to fruition.” Jesus stood in the breach and said, “I will shed my blood and die, as these dead animals at my feet, to pay the price of the broken covenant.” Jesus, in passing between the pieces of the sacrifice, prophesied His own death – in order to bring all men to salvation. Jump ahead exactly four hundred and thirty years after this Covenant Sacrifice was witnessed by Abram:
“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a Night to be Much Observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 12:40-42)
We, brethren, gained our victory over sin on the exact selfsame day – it marks our point of salvation – our victory over bondage and over death as Jesus was laid in the tomb just as The Night to be Much Observed began.
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