Book: The Christian Passover

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In our study of Genesis 15, we learned that the promise of spiritual seed was given to Abraham on the night of Nisan 14, which was the time that God had appointed for the Passover. As the promise was delivered on the Passover day, so its fulfillment was initiated on the Passover day. Through the New Covenant, which was established by Jesus Christ on the night of His last Passover, the promise of spiritual seed is now being fulfilled. The New Covenant enables all who repent of their sins and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to become the children of Abraham through faith.

In the previous chapter, we studied the account of God’s testing of Abraham, as recorded in Genesis 22. During this test, Abraham demonstrated his faith in God by willingly obeying God’s command to sacrifice his son Isaac. Because Abraham endured this great trial of his faith, God confirmed His promises to Abraham by an irrevocable oath. The promises, which had been guaranteed by God’s covenant with Abraham, were given a double guarantee through the oath that God swore to Abraham. As we will see, the covenant and the irrevocable oath have great significance for the spiritual seed of Abraham—those who become the children of Abraham through faith. Notice the words that the apostle Paul wrote to the Galatians: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29).

Paul states very plainly that those who belong to Christ are heirs of the promises that God gave to Abraham. As there were promises for the physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac, so there were promises for those who would become the spiritual children of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ: “Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are the children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). God’s promises to the spiritual seed of Abraham far surpass the promises that were given to Abraham’s physical seed. The physical seed received a temporary inheritance in the Promised Land, but the spiritual seed will receive an eternal inheritance in the kingdom of God.

Eternal Life Through the Promised Seed

When we fully understand the Word of God, it is clear that the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ was promised in the covenant with Abraham. Let us again examine the promises that God made to Abraham: “He that shall come forth out of your own loins shall be your heir’ ” (Gen. 15:4). God’s promise to give Abraham his own physical seed was fulfilled through the birth of Isaac, who became the forefather of the twelve tribes of Israel. From the tribe of Judah came Jesus Christ, the promised Seed. As the apostle Paul shows, He is the true Heir of the promises that God gave to Abraham: “Now to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, ‘and to your seeds,’ as of many; but as of one, ‘and to your Seed,’ which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

Notice the next promise that God made to Abraham: “And He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward the heavens and number the stars—if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your seed be.’ And he believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Gen. 15:5-6). This promise does not refer to Abraham’s physical descendants but to his spiritual seed, who will receive the gift of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Because the spiritual seed will inherit everlasting glory, God took Abraham out to show him the stars in heaven, rather than the ground beneath his feet. As the stars of heaven are high above the earth, so the promise of eternal life is exceedingly greater than the promise of physical blessings. The blessings that were offered to the physical seed through the Old Covenant were temporary, but the blessings that are offered to the spiritual seed through the New Covenant are eternal.

The apostle Paul understood that the Old Covenant could not bring the spiritual blessings that God promised in His covenant with Abraham. These blessings can only be imparted by Jesus Christ, Who is Abraham’s true Seed and the Heir of the promises: “Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ cannot be annulled by the law [the requirements of the Old Covenant], which was given four hundred and thirty years later [to Israel], so as to make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is by law, it is no longer by promise. But God granted it to Abraham by promise. Why then the law? It was placed alongside the promises [because a ratified covenant cannot be added to] for the purpose of defining transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made...” (Gal. 3:17-19).

Paul makes it clear that the Old Covenant with Abraham’s physical seed was temporary. When Jesus Christ established the New Covenant, the promise of eternal life through faith superseded and replaced the promise of blessings through the requirements of the Old Covenant. Under the New Covenant, individuals of every nation and race may inherit the promise of eternal life by becoming the children of Abraham through faith: “It is exactly as it is written: ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.’ Because of this, you should understand that those who are of faith are the true sons of Abraham. Now in the Scriptures, God, seeing in advance that He would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’ It is for this reason that those who are of faith are being blessed with the believing Abraham” (Gal. 3:6-9).

The Way to Eternal Life Is Revealed by Jesus Christ

As we learned, the promise of spiritual seed was given to Abraham on the night of Nisan 14, the set time that God had appointed for the Passover. Likewise, the fulfillment of this promise through the New Covenant was opened to all mankind through Jesus Christ on the night of Nisan 14. The words that Jesus spoke to His disciples on the night of His last Passover are the words of the New Covenant. These words show the way to the glory and immortality that God promised to Abraham’s spiritual seed.

The apostle John was inspired to write in his Gospel the words of the New Covenant, which reveal the way to eternal life. The account begins in John 13 with the words that Jesus spoke when He instituted the new Passover ceremony for His disciples. After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus admonished them to follow His example by practicing footwashing as part of the new ceremony. He also commanded His disciples to practice the same kind of love that He had showed toward them: “A new commandment I give to you; that you love one another in the same way that I have loved you, that is how you are to love one another” (verse 34).

Jesus’ words in John 14 reveal that the New Covenant is based not only on love but also on faith: “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were otherwise, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; so that where I am, you may be also” (verses 1-3).

Jesus made it clear that the only way to eternal life is through faith in Him: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me” (verse 6).

Jesus went on to show that true faith leads to loving obedience and the receiving of the Holy Spirit: “If you love Me, keep the commandments— namely, My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that it may be with you throughout the age; even the Spirit of the truth, which the world cannot receive because it perceives it not, nor knows it; but you know it because it dwells with you, and shall be within you....The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him....If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me” (verses 15-24).

The words of Jesus in John 15 and 16 offer great hope and encouragement. Jesus declared that if His followers live in His love, they will be able to remain faithful in the face of every adversity. Moreover, He revealed that God the Father Himself loves everyone who loves the Son, and that each one can pray directly to the Father in His name: “In that day, you shall ask in My name; and I do not tell you that I will beseech the Father for you, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (John 16:26-27). Then Jesus gave words of hope throughout all ages: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation. But be courageous! I have overcome the world” (verse 33).

The prayer of Jesus in John 17 is most profound and moving. In His prayer, Jesus asks God the Father to restore Him to His former glory in order that He may fulfill the Father’s will by granting eternal life to everyone the Father calls: “Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh, in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You have given them to Me, and they have kept Your Word. Now they have known that all things that You have given Me are from You. For I have given them the words that You gave Me; and they have received them and truly have known that I came from You; and they have believed that You did send Me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world, but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and all Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them’ ” (verses 1-10).

Jesus concluded His prayer by asking God the Father to sanctify every believer who lives by His Word, so that they may all become one with Him and the Father, and may share Their eternal glory as spirit beings in the kingdom of God: “Sanctify them in Your truth; Your Word is the truth. Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they may be sanctified in Your truth. I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, in order that the world may believe that You did send Me. And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me, in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one; I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me may also be with Me [may be resurrected to eternal life and glory] where I am, so that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; because You did love Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world has not known You; but I have known You, and these have known that You did send Me. And I have made known Your name to them, and will make it known; so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (verses 17-26).

The Promise of Eternal Glory

The prayer of Jesus reveals God’s plan for fulfilling His promise to Abraham of a spiritual seed that will be like the stars of heaven. It was by God’s will and purpose that these words of the New Covenant were spoken by Jesus Christ on the Passover night—the night of Nisan 14. This was the same night that the promise was given to Abraham: “ ‘Look now toward the heavens, and number the stars—if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your seed be’ ” (Gen. 15:5).

The promise of spiritual seed who will inherit eternal life is confirmed by the prophet Daniel. In his description of the resurrection, Daniel shows that those who receive eternal life will shine as the stars of heaven: “And many of them those who sleep in the dust of the earth [are dead in the graves] shall awake [in the resurrection], some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever” (Dan. 12:2-3).

Jesus Christ also spoke of the time of the resurrection. Notice the similarity to Daniel’s prophecy: “Therefore, as the tares are gathered and consumed in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this age. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all the offenders and those who are practicing lawlessness, and they shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:40-43).

To confirm the resurrection to glory and immortality, Jesus gave a special revelation to Peter, James and John. On the Mount of Transfiguration, He showed them in vision what He would look like in His glorified form in the kingdom of God: “Truly I say to you, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste of death until they have seen [in vision] the Son of man coming in His kingdom. And after six days, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and his brother John, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shined as the sun, and His garments became white as the light” (Matt. 16:28; 17:1- 2). Afterwards, Jesus commanded them not to tell the vision to anyone until He was resurrected from the dead (verse 9).

Many years after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the apostle John in His glorified form: “I was in the Spirit on the day of the Lord; and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me, saying, ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last’; and, ‘What you see, write in a book, and send it to the churches that are in Asia: to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamos, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.’ And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me; and when I turned, I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the midst of the seven lampstands one like the Son of man, clothed in a garment reaching to the feet, and girded about the chest with a golden breastplate.

“And His head and hair were like white wool, white as snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like fine brass, as if they glowed in a furnace; and His voice was like the sound of many waters. And in his right hand He had seven stars, and a sharp two-edged sword went out of His mouth; and His countenance was as the sun shining in its full power” (Rev. 1:10-16).

As Jesus Christ was both the Seed of Abraham and the Son of God, so those who believe in Him and live by His words are both the children of Abraham and the children of God. Like Jesus, the Firstborn, they will be resurrected to immortality. They will inherit the promise of eternal life as glorified spirit beings in the kingdom of God. Paul writes: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, ‘Abba, Father.

“The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God. Now if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:14-18).

The apostle John shows that the transformation of the children of God to eternal glory will take place at the coming of Jesus Christ: “Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is” (I John 3:1-2).

When the children of God are glorified, the words of Jesus Christ will be fulfilled: “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:43). Exactly as God promised Abraham, there will be an innumerable multitude of glorified seed who will shine as the stars: “And He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward the heavens, and number the stars—if you are able to count them.’ And He said to him: ‘So shall your seed be’ ” (Gen. 15:5).

Old Testament Foretype of the New Covenant Fulfillment

In reading the Old Testament, it is easy to overlook the spiritual aspect of God’s covenant with Abraham and focus only on its fulfillment to the physical seed. However, the writings of the apostles in the New Testament clearly reveal the significance of the promise of spiritual seed. The fulfillment of this promise through Jesus Christ—the true Seed and Heir of Abraham—is explained and expounded in many passages in the New Testament. These passages shed great light on the covenant between God and Abraham. When we compare the Old Testament accounts with the records of the New Testament, we find a number of distinct parallels. Key events that took place in the days of Abraham bear a striking resemblance to events that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.

As the book of Genesis shows, the begettal and birth of Isaac were the result of miraculous intervention by God: “And the LORD appeared to him [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre, as he sat at the tent door in the heat of the day. And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by [opposite] him....And they said to him: ‘Where is Sarah your wife?’ And he said, ‘Behold, in the tent.’ And He [the LORD] said, ‘I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ And Sarah heard at the tent door which was behind Him.

“Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in days, and it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, ‘After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?’ And the LORD said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, saying, “Shall I, who am old, bear a child? Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return again, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.’ Then Sarah denied, saying, ‘I did not laugh:’ for she was afraid. And He said, ‘No, but you did laugh’ ” (Gen. 18:1-2, 9-15).

Unlike Sarah, Abraham did not doubt God’s word in the least, as the apostle Paul shows: “(Exactly as it is written, ‘I have made you [Abraham] a father of many nations.’) before God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not as though they are; and who against hope believed in hope, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, ‘So shall your seed be.’ And he, not being weak in the faith, considered not his own body, already having become dead, being about one hundred years old, nor did he consider the deadness of Sarah’s womb; and he did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief; rather, he was strengthened in the faith, giving glory to God; for he was fully persuaded that what He has promised, He is also able to do. As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:17-22).

Although Sarah initially showed doubt at God’s promise, she repented and was strengthened by faith: “By faith also Sarah herself received power to conceive seed, and gave birth when she was well beyond the childbearing age because she esteemed Him faithful Who had personally promised her a son” (Heb. 11:11).

The book of Genesis records the fulfillment of God’s promise: “And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said. And the LORD did to Sarah as He had spoken, for Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born to him (whom Sarah bore to him) Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac, when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, so that all who hear will laugh with me.’ And she said, ‘Who could have said to Abraham that Sarah would suckle children? For I have borne a son to him in his old age’ ” (Gen. 21:1-7).

The miraculous birth of Isaac foreshadowed the far greater miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was miraculously conceived by the virgin Mary: “Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a son; and you shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest’.... But Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God’ ” (Luke 1:30-35).

When we compare the Scriptural accounts of the birth of Isaac and the birth of Jesus Christ, it is clear that Isaac was a type of the coming Messiah. Isaac was the firstborn of Sarah, and Jesus was the firstborn of Mary. Isaac was the miraculously conceived son through whom the physical seed would come, and Jesus was the miraculously conceived Son through Whom the spiritual seed would come. As the first of Abraham’s spiritual seed to be resurrected to immortality, Jesus is also called “the firstborn from the dead” (Col. 1:18) and “the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).

The account of God’s testing of Abraham in Genesis 22 reveals more parallels in the life of Isaac and the life of Jesus Christ: “And He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, [the son of promise], and go into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you’ ” (Gen. 22:2).

Abraham willingly obeyed God when He commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac because he had faith that God would resurrect him from the dead. The words of the apostle Paul show Abraham’s great faith: “By faith Abraham, when he was being tried, offered up Isaac; and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac shall your Seed be called’; because he reckoned that God was able to raise him up even from among the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative way” (Heb. 11:17-19).

In showing that he was willing to sacrifice his only son and heir, Abraham was a type of God the Father, Who willingly gave His own Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

As Abraham was a type of God the Father, so Isaac was a type of Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God, Who was sent by the Father to give His life for the sins of the world: “And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, ‘My father.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering’ ” (Gen. 22:7-8). The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was planned long before the time of Abraham and Isaac. God reveals that Jesus Christ is “...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

Like Jesus, Who humbly and willingly submitted to His Father’s will, Isaac willingly obeyed his father Abraham: “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son...” (Gen. 22:6).

In carrying the wood for the sacrifice, Isaac foreshadowed the ordeal that Jesus would suffer when He carried the wooden cross on which He would be crucified: “Therefore, he [Pilate] then delivered Him up to them so that He might be crucified. And they took Jesus and led Him away. And He went out bearing His own cross to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha ” (John 19:16-17). Jesus was too weak from the beating and scourging that He had received to carry the cross the entire distance to Golgotha. When His strength was exhausted, the leaders of the Jews compelled a Cyrenian named Simon to carry it the rest of the way: “And as they led Him away, they laid hold on a certain Cyrenian named Simon, who was coming from a field; and they put the cross on him, that he might carry it behind Jesus” (Luke 23:26).

There are more parallels in the account in Genesis 22. When Isaac learned that he was to be the sacrificial offering, he did not resist his father, but allowed himself to be bound and placed on the altar: “And they came to the place which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order. And he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the wood, upon the altar” (verse 9).

This also was a type of Jesus Christ, Who, when the time of His crucifixion had come, made no attempt to defend Himself: “And when He was accused by the chief priests and the elders, He answered nothing. Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Don’t You hear how many things they testify against You?’ And He did not answer even one word to him, so that the governor was greatly amazed” (Matt. 27:12-14).

Before his trial, Jesus wholly committed Himself to fulfill the Father’s will by sacrificing His life. He was, in effect, already slain. In like manner, because Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac was counted by God as already having been slain: “And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called to him out of the heavens, and said, ‘Abraham! Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said: ‘Do not lay your hand upon the lad, nor do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me’ ” (Gen. 22:10-12).

Unlike Isaac, who was spared from actual death, Jesus Christ shed His blood and died on the cross: “Then another took a spear and thrust it into His side, and out came water and blood. And after crying out again with a loud voice, Jesus yielded up His spirit” (Matt. 27:49-50). For textual evidence which supports this record, see Appendix W.

While Isaac was symbolically slain and resurrected, Jesus Christ truly died and was miraculously resurrected from the grave by the power of God: “But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you are seeking Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; for He has risen, as He said’ ” (Matt. 28:5-6).

When Abraham told Isaac that God Himself would provide a sacrificial lamb, Isaac had believed. Because they trusted in God, He miraculously provided a substitute sacrifice in place of Isaac: “And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked. And, behold, behind him a ram was entangled in a thicket by its horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son” (Gen. 22:13).

The ram itself was a type of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, Who was sacrificed for sinners: “Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Like the ram that was sacrificed in Isaac’s stead, Jesus Christ becomes the substitute sacrifice for our sins when we are symbolically buried with Him in baptism. We are symbolically resurrected from the baptismal grave to walk in newness of life through the power of the Holy Spirit, with the promise of eternal life at the return of Jesus Christ (Rom. 6:4-9; 8:11-17).

The events that took place in the life of Isaac, Abraham’s son, were only an imperfect foretype of the events that were later fulfilled by Jesus Christ, the promised Seed. As the Firstborn from the dead, He is fulfilling the promise of blessings for all nations by offering the gift of eternal life through faith.

The Dual Fulfillment of God’s Promises to Abraham

The parallel events that are revealed in the Old and New Testaments show how the promises of God were first fulfilled through the physical seed of Abraham and then through the spiritual Seed. The irrevocable oath that God gave to Abraham clearly shows the duality of the promises: “And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, ‘By Myself have I sworn, says the LORD, ‘because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son; that in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed like the stars of the heavens [the spiritual seed], and as the sand which is upon the seashore [the physical seed]. And your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. AND IN YOUR SEED [Jesus Christ, the promised Seed] shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice’ ” (Gen. 22:15-18).

The promised Seed through Whom blessings would come to all nations was not Isaac or his descendants, but Jesus Christ: “Now to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, ‘and to your seeds,’ as of many; but as of one, ‘and to your Seed,’ which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16).

The apostle Paul shows the significance of God’s irrevocable oath to those who become the children of Abraham through faith in Jesus Christ: “For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself, since He could swear by none greater, saying, ‘Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.’ Now after he [Abraham] had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For indeed, men swear by the greater, and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath; so that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast, and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil; where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 6:13-20).

To fulfill His promise to Abraham of a spiritual seed, God the Father offered His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world: “He [God] Who did not spare even His own Son, but gave Him up for us all...” (Rom. 8:32). Through the blood of Jesus Christ, which is the blood of the New Covenant, the gift of eternal life is now being offered to all whom God calls from all nations. The fulfillment of this promise is the very reason for the annual observance of the Christian Passover.

The promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ, the Author of the New Covenant, is immeasurably greater than any blessing that was offered under the Old Covenant with Israel. In Chapter Twenty-Four, we will learn more about the superiority of the New Covenant.