Baptism Series #14

Fred R. Coulter—February 20, 2010

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Not knowing that you're not a Jew, they think it's rather strange that you would mention the Passover and you say that you keep the Passover. And in particularly if you told them you don't take communion or you don't go to mass, and you don't celebrate the mass or you don't take the Eucharist. You don't take the 'Lord's Supper,' then you really seem kind of strange. Let's see what the Bible has to say about the Passover and why it is so important, and that God actually has had this plan for a long time.

Let's come first of all to Galatians 3, and I think it's very interesting that we know that in Galatians it was a combination of mostly Gentiles and some Jews. We have something written by the Apostle Paul, which gives us a clue as to what God is doing. It gives us part of a clue as to how long ago this has been thought of. We will see that even though we get a hint here in Gal. 3, that very rarely is it connected with Abraham and very rarely is it connected with things before Abraham. It often makes me wonder when I'm reading this or other Scriptures similar to it, when there are those who have said, 'Everything in the Old Testament has been fulfilled, so therefore we don't have to read it': What do they think when they read this?

Galatians 3:26: "Because you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.... [Now each one of these you can take and make a separate sermon of itself or a separate study.] ...There is neither Jew nor Greek;' there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus [for salvation]..... [Physically we still are what we are.] ...And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (vs 26-29).

  • How does that fit in with Christ?
  • What does this have to do with His sacrifice?
  • What does this have to do with the Passover?

We know in Rev. 13:8 that it says that 'the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.' So God had this planned a long time beforehand—didn't He? From the time He was creating the earth. And also we see the very first time that God tells us that He's going to implement it is right after the sin of Adam and Eve. Where in Gen. 3:15 it talks about a coming Messiah Who would take away the sins of the world, not exactly in those words, but that's the beginning of it.

When we come to the New Testament, we have some things that Jesus said. We also have some things that the apostles wrote which tell us more about the plan of God. So let's come here to Matthew 13, and we come here quite often because this helps us to understand how to put the Word of God together and to realize that at this time, with the blessing of the Word of God, there are many things that we can understand which were not understood in the past, as the Apostle Peter said. That we 'understand things that the prophets who gave them didn't understand and that even angels desire to look into.'

Matthew 13:10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?' And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given" (vs 10-11). Isn't that a just profound Scripture? We are to know, that understand, the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, and that begins with the Passover. That begins with the planning of the Passover that Jesus and the Father had already worked out from the foundation of the world.

Let's come to Ephesians 1, and let's see how the Apostle Paul writes that God is making His will known to us. When we come to really understand what God is doing in the New Testament, it all has to do with the grace of God. Everything we do has to do with the grace of God. What does it say, do 'we abolish law through grace'? What did Paul say? 'May it never be! We establish law.' How, though grace, does God establish law? How does that fit with what He requires us to do?

We know that ancient Israel was given the letter of the law—correct? But then how, through grace, does it establish law? What is part of the New Covenant, the major part of the New Covenant? Receiving the Holy Spirit after repentance and baptism. What is the Holy Spirit to do for our minds and our hearts? What is it to do with the laws and commandments of God? Have them written in our hearts and in our minds—is that not correct? That is an act of grace to do so. What is the standard of obedience that God requires of us? We are to obey how? In the spirit from the heart!

Have you ever thought that that kind of love and obedience to God is really part of the grace of God, because grace establishes that kind of law-keeping? That's important to understand when there's the argument concerning grace and law or commandment-keeping, and all of this sort of thing.

Let's see what Paul says concerning the purpose and the will of God, what He has done for us. Concerning His Son, Jesus Christ, and His grace in the Beloved Son, Ephesians 1:7: "In Whom we have redemption through His blood... [That has to do with the Passover—doesn't it? Yes, indeed!] ...even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace." A lot of people like to take this kind of grace, which is part of grace, and say, 'Okay, grace is the forgiveness of sin.' But grace goes way beyond that. Grace involves everything that we do as a Christian. Grace involves

  • the Spirit of God
  • the love of God
  • the Truth of God

all of that combined together.

Verse 8: "Which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence... [It's to give us understanding and wisdom and Truth and knowledge and intelligence.] (Notice what grace also includes): ...having made known to us the mystery of His own will..." (vs 8-9). Just like Jesus said. It's been given to us to know, which then is an act of grace! Because what we're going to cover here today, and the different things that we have covered, you could ask many people who profess to be Christian, and they wouldn't understand it at all—would they? Why? Because God has given it to those who love Him, who trust in Him—the true sacrifice of Jesus Christ—understanding! Important principle to remember: Understanding comes with obedience. As you do, you understand.

Verse 9: "Having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself." God purposed it. God made it possible and everything is going to be wrapped up in Christ. We know that Jesus Christ was the Lord God of the Old Testament, Who became the Son of God in the New Testament.

Verse 10: "That in the Divine plan for the fulfillment of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth. Yes, in Him, in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will" (vs 10-11).

Let's understand it, brethren! This is really something that we really need to bear in mind all the time. God has called us

  • to know His will
  • to know His plan

He is working that out

  • in us
  • through us
  • for us

and that He planned it before the foundation of the world.

How does what we read in Gal. 3, apply to:

  • being a Christian
  • receiving the Spirit of God
  • having our sins forgiven
  • the grace of God

How does all of that fit into the Passover?

Let's go back here to what is traditionally called the first Passover. I say traditionally, because as we will see, this is not the beginning of the Passover. So what we're going to do is take the clues from the Bible, and we're going to see how this works out. What we find in Exo. 12 is not the beginning of the Passover but an extension of the promises given to Abraham. These are the promises given to the children of Israel. This has to do with the Passover given to them.

The Passover is always on the fourteenth day of the first month, but the Passover given to the children of Israel is different than the Passover given to us, which as we will see, goes clear back to Abraham. That's what Gal. 3 is talking about. We get the first clue here of Abraham in Exodus 12. I'm not going to go through all the things concerning the Passover to the children of Israel. We will just review a few of those things. We will see a type of Christ involved in what they did here with the lamb being a male without blemish. That's a type of Christ.

Exodus 12:3: "Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them each man a lamb for a father's house, a lamb for a house. And if the household is too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take according to the number of the souls, each one, according to the eating of his mouth, you shall count concerning the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You shall take it from the sheep or from the goats. And you shall keep it up until the beginning of the fourteenth day of the same month. And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the two evenings'" (vs 3-6).

We have a whole Passover book that has been written. It goes through all the details of this, so I'm not going to go through the details of it, because I want us to get the overview of it. It was at the beginning of the fourteenth day that they were then to kill the lamb between the two evenings. They roasted it with fire, with bitter herbs, they ate it, and at midnight then the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain and because the blood was on the two sideposts and the upper doorpost of the house, God passed over the children of Israel and spared their firstborn. Then they gathered at Rameses.

VW we want to follow what happened the next night, because they were told to stay in their houses until morning, which means sunrise. That's why it was in the morning at sunrise, because everyone can figure out when the sun comes up—right? Then they could leave their houses. What did they do when they left their houses? They spoiled the Egyptians even more and came and gathered at Rameses!

Verse 37: "And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, the men being about six hundred thousand on foot, apart from little ones. And also a mixed multitude went up with them, and flocks and herds, very much livestock. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not stay, neither had they prepared any food for themselves for the journey. Now the sojourning of the children of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years" (vs 37-40).

That actually goes back clear to the time, including when Abraham just left the land of Egypt, as we find when we come to Gen. 15 Why? Because Isaac and Jacob were in the loins of Abraham the father—right? Just like we have in Heb. 7, where it says Levi tithed while he was yet in his father Abraham's loins. So, we have the same thing to include the 430 years, because the children of Israel were not 430 years in Egypt itself. But it goes back to the time of a special event that God had between Him and Abraham.

Verse 41: "And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, it was even on that very same day... [this becomes significant] ...all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed to the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD to be observed by all the children of Israel in their generations" (vs 41-42).

So they had the Passover one night, they assembled to Rameses in the day, then at the next night, which was the beginning of the fifteenth they started to leave Egypt, 430 years from an event that took place between God and Abraham. And then this was a precursor of what happened between Christ and the Father, and has to do with the true Passover and why Christians should take the Passover according to the instructions given by Christ, which first began with Abraham. The key here is the 430 years. I'm not going to go through and explain the 430 years. I did a sermon recently on that, so you can go back to that and listen to it.

Let's come to Genesis 15 and this is why you have the chart [pg. 307, The Christian Passover], and let's understand something about God.

  • God is true
  • God is Holy
  • God is righteous

Whatever God says or speaks is or will be. Many times He speaks of something as though it's already done, while the event has not yet occurred, because that's how sure the Word of God is. We read the Scriptures that God cannot lie. And in dealing with Abraham we find that God confirmed the promises and it's stated there that it's impossible for God to lie. Everything points back to Abraham. I think it's very interesting how many times in the New Testament we find that everything goes back to Abraham.

Let's come back here go Genesis 15, and let's examine this. Then we will also examine the chart [pg. 307, The Christian Passover], because it has to do with the same two days that involved Israel with the Passover and the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the 14th and the 15th day of the first month:

  • In the case of the children of Israel
  • in the case of Abraham
  • in the case of Jesus Christ

Genesis 15:1: "After these things the Word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward.' And Abram said, 'Lord GOD, what will You give me since I go childless, and the heir of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?' And Abram said, 'Behold, You have given no seed to me; and lo, one born in my house is my heir.'…. [which was a legal thing to do] …And behold, the Word of the LORD came to him saying, 'This man shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own loins shall be your heir'" (vs 1-4).

At this time he was 85-years-old, and chances of that happening were pretty slim. We know from the rest of the account that he had to wait another 15 years for Isaac to be born. So he ended up being 100-years-old before this came to pass, but God said it would happen and it did. God did something very unusual to show Abraham, because his name was changed to Abraham (Gen. 17).

Verse 5: "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.'" You see the stars at night—don't you? This has to be at night! When does the day in Biblical reckoning begin? At sunset, so then it is at night. I've often wondered what it would be like, pitch black out there. I don't know where they were, but I'm sure they had no streetlights. It was pitch black and you see all of these magnificent stars and God says to you, 'So shall your seed be.' They have that new Hubble telescope up there—don't they? And they're really getting some fantastic pictures of the universe.

So, He said, 'Look at the stars. Number the stars if you're able to count them. And He said to him so shall your seed be.' Now what do we actually have here? We have two promises:

  • a physical son that would come from his own loins through Sarah
  • that his seed would be as the stars of heaven

Verse 6: "And he believed in the LORD. And He accounted it to him for righteousness…. [Was there anything for Abraham to do that he himself could do to make sure that this promise would take place? No, there was very little he could do! We'll see that he did something according to God's commands.] …And He said to him, 'I am the LORD that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.' And he said, 'Lord GOD, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?'" (vs 6-8).

We have here a very different sacrifice, which is called a covenant sacrifice. There was no altar, there was no wood, none of that. The animals were slain in a very unusual way. When you come to understand this more, this is called a maledictory oath. What is a maledictory oath? A maledictory oath is a covenant oath, and a covenant is different than a testament. A covenant you must show a sacrifice and the shedding of blood to secure the covenant. Whereas with a testament you write out your last will and testament, and if you don't like what some of your future heirs are going to do, you can take their name out of the testament and you can say, 'Well, I'm going to leave this one $1.' You've probably seen this in some television shows, here's the reading of the will and here's the one who's going to expect to get everything and the attorney looks over and says, 'To so and so is granted one dollar.'

Well, a covenant is different. When you make a covenant you have to stick to it, or you die like the animals that you have just slain. So in effect what you are doing is pledging your death. Now we'll see how that ties in with baptism in just a little bit. But I want us to keep this in mind, and also keep in mind the sequence of events and we will see how they parallel what went on in Exo. 12, and how it parallels what went on with the death and crucifixion of Christ.

So here's what God instructed him to do, v 9: "And He said to him, 'Take Me... [he's doing this for God, because God is going to do something] ...a 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.'" These are all types of future sacrifices that they would have the kinds of animals to be used at the tabernacle and later the temple.]

Verse 10: "And he took all these to himself, and divided them in the middle..." Cut them right down the middle and then he made a path between the parts. So it would be like this: you slit the throat of the animal, and then you start cutting it right down the middle, and pushing each piece apart, all the blood, guts, and gore all right there out in the open. There's no fire to burn the sacrifice. There's no altar in which to put it. You just lay them on the ground. So that's what he did with the goat and with the ram and with the heifer, but the turtledoves he just placed one on one side and on the other.

"...[He] laid each piece opposite the other, but he did not divide the birds. And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away" (vs 10-11). When did this take place? The first part of this, with the promises, took place at night, when He took him out and showed the stars—correct? This had to happen the next day, so it was the day portion of that particular day. Now let's notice the sequence of events as they come along.

Verse 12: "And it came to pass, as the sun was going down... [What happens when the sun goes down? Timeline, you're into the next day—right? Remember, there were two nights involved in Exo. 12—were there not? Yes! Passover night and the exodus night.] ...that a deep sleep fell upon Abram. And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him!"

  • Why would that happen?
  • What was God teaching him with this?
  • What could he learn from this?

First he had a deep sleep. What does it say for those who die? They sleep in Christ—right? This was a type of death. We're going to see a little later on, this has to do with a type of the death of Christ. The timing is going to be very similar, as we will see. And then 'a horror of great darkness fell upon him.' What could that be? Great darkness! Have you ever been in Carlsbad Caverns? If you have, they turn the lights out, just for a little while, and you can't see anything. You can put your hand right up in front of your face, and you can't see it. So the 'horror of great darkness' was a type of burial. You have the 'deep sleep' a type of death. What was God showing him? Why did God do this?
Verse 13: "And He said to Abram, 'You must surely know that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, (and shall serve them and afflict them) four hundred years." That's a parenthetical statement. But just to cut the difference short between the 400 and the 430 is this: it took 15 years for Isaac to be born and he was—in Gen. 22 when Abraham offered Isaac—he was fifteen. So from that time then you have the 400 years that they were sojourning. And they shall serve them and afflict them not 400 years, but it was something a little over, right around 200 at the most.

Verse 14: "And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance." When did they leave with great substance? On the night after the Passover—right? That's when they left, a 'night to be much observed to the Lord.' It happened! When did it happen? On the very same day of what happened here in Gen. 15.

Verse 15: "'And you shall go to your fathers in peace. You shall be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.' And it came to pass—when the sun went down and it was dark... [We have the going down of the sun, then the sun went down and it was dark. We're into the next day—correct? Yes!] (Notice the promise): ...behold, a smoking furnace and a burning lamp passed between those pieces" (vs 15-17).

Being in great darkness the only way that God could show to Abraham what He was going to do and they passed between the parts, the smoking furnace, and the burning lamp passed between the parts, it was probably this: it showed the fire of God consuming those sacrifices and burning them to ashes and then right behind that came the burning lamp showing that God was passing through those parts. We can only conjecture that when Abraham saw this afterwards, there was nothing left but the ashes on the ground.

Now let's understand something here very important. Here's where he made the covenant, v 18: "In the same day..." Then in Exo. 12 it talks about the very same day, so it's referring back to this day. So if the day in Exo. 12 is the fifteenth day of the first month, what do you suppose the day is back here in Gen. 15? The fifteenth day of the first month, and the day before that was the fourteenth day of the first month, which then is the beginning of the Passover began with Abraham and not with Israel, and has a significance for us in the New Testament, and has a significance with baptism and we'll see that in a little bit.

Verse 18: "In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates." Then he lists all of the Canaanite tribes. That was for the physical seed to inherit.

What about the stars of heaven? Who do they represent? How does this fit in with the plan of God, the sacrifice of Christ, and the Christian Passover?

Track 2 or Download

Now let's see how all of this fits together. Take the chart [pg. 307, The Christian Passover], and let's go down the left hand column for Genesis 15. What we read in Gen. 15:4-5 are the words of the covenant. The words were:

  • promise of physical seed
  • promise of spiritual seed

Let's look at the Scripture, which describes how those who attain to the Kingdom of God will appear. We will see that this is verified by what Jesus Himself said.

Daniel 12:1: "And at that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble... [the Tribulation] ...such as never was since there was a nation even until that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered—every one who shall be found written in the book.... [obviously the book of Life] ...And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (vs 1-2). Notice in many prophecies here we don't have a time setting of how it occurs, so we have to use other Scriptures to get a chronological time setting for it.

Verse 3: "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." Did we not read in Gal. 3 that 'we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise'? And what is the promise of being glorified?

Let's see what Jesus said. Let's see what Jesus Himself said and remember that the angel who was talking to Daniel there, was conveying to him the words of God. What God said to Abraham personally, 'So shall your seed be, the shining of the heavens above—the stars.' Let's see what Jesus said concerning the glorified spirit beings, that is those who are the children of God and resurrected from the dead.

Matthew 13:43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun..." What do we read in Rev. 1 concerning Jesus Christ? How did He look? His glorified being was very bright and His face had the brightness of the sun. His eyes as flames of fire! That's Christ in His glorified form. Paul wrote that when Christ returns, He's going to transform our vile bodies into a body like His, His glorious body. That's fulfilling the promise to Abraham. That's why we're heirs according to promise, and we will see how that ties in with baptism here in a little bit.

Verse 43: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. The one who has ears to hear, let him hear." Isn't that interesting? Every time there's something important but the entire answer is not there, Jesus said, 'Let the one who has ears, let him hear.' There are some other Scriptures that you can add to it, I referred to it there.

These words were spoken to Abraham on the night of the fourteenth, which is the night of the Passover. Let's see what happens in the daytime. We had this, let's continue Gen. 15 there [paraphrased]. The sacrifice of the animals, the maledictory oath, and that it was a unilateral oath of God that He would die. He was prophesying of His own death. Then we have the burial, going down of the sun, the great darkness. Then we have down here the next night, the covenant to bring Israel out of Egypt and the things that took place to verify that.

Let's come to the death of Christ. Here is the key thing to understand. God created the Holy Days to show His purpose and to fulfill His purpose. That's why God used the 14th day with Abraham and the 15th day to guarantee the promise to bring the physical seed out of Egypt. That's why with the children of Israel He used the 14th and the 15th, and that's why with the crucifixion of Christ, Who was slain before the foundation of the world, that that happened on the 14th day of the first month.

Let's see the New Covenant that's instituted. That's why with our Passover Ceremony booklet, which we read every Passover, we have the words of the New Covenant. The words of the New Covenant, part of them are in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but the extended words of the covenant are the Gospel of John 14, 15, 16, and 17. As you read those four chapters, think of it this way: it starts out in John 14:1, 'You believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many abodes, or dwellings. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go, I will come again.' So, there's a promise of His return. Then you read all the rest of the way through and you will see that is an outline of what your life will be like as a Christian.

  • all of the blessings that come from God
  • the Holy Spirit of God
  • loving God
  • serving God
  • praying directly to God the Father

—and then the final prayer of Jesus where He said, 'I pray that they will be one in Us. I in You, and You in Me and they in Us that they may become one.' So those four chapters outline the words of the covenant to the spiritual seed.

Let's see how this took place here. They were walking in toward Jerusalem and the disciples wanted to know where 'will we prepare for You to eat the Passover?' This is why if you don't have the Passover book, be sure and write for it, because we go through every one of these things in particular detail.

Mark 14:12: "And on the first day of the unleaveneds..." That's important in as it is a literal translation. If you have King James Version, you have in some places 'feast of unleavened bread.' You know that can't be true, because the Passover comes before the First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—right? The fourteenth comes before the fifteenth. But when you understand that the Passover Day is also an Unleavened Bread day, and it was the very first of the unleaveneds, when a certain event would take place.

Verse 12: "And on the first day of the unleaveneds, when they were killing the Passover lambs..." When did they kill the Passover lambs? As soon as the sun went down on the 13th and the 14th began. You'll notice a couple of very interesting things here in what they saw and what Jesus explained, and how they prepared for the Passover.
They were entering Jerusalem. They weren't entering the temple area. But as they were entering Jerusalem, what did the disciples see? They saw the Passover lambs being killed. That is a literal translation from the Greek, present tense passive—being killed.

The disciples knew they were going to keep the Passover, but they didn't know where to keep it. So they asked Him, v 12: "'Where do You desire that we go and prepare, so that You may eat the Passover?' And He sent two of His disciples..." (vs 12-13)—Peter and John. Told them to go into a house, follow the man who goes into the house, there you tell the master of the house, 'I will keep the Passover with My disciples.' By the time they got there, prepared it, had everything ready, it was nighttime, beginning of night. Because the Passover lamb was to be killed at the beginning, between the two evenings. When they came it was toward the end of the two evenings, being about a time of an hour and fifteen minutes, and so forth.

After they prepared the Passover, v 17: "Now after evening had come, He came with the twelve. And as they sat and were eating, Jesus said, 'Truly I say to you, one of you shall betray Me, even he who is eating with Me'" (vs 17-18). They all wanted to know who it was, who it was. After dipping the morsel in sop He gave it to Judas Iscariot, and he went out to betray Him.

Just make a note that this took place after the foot-washing. Now here are the instructions for it, because now we have a new sacrifice for the Passover, v 22: "And as they were eating, Jesus took bread; and after blessing it, He broke it and gave it to them, and said, 'Take, eat; this is My body.' And He took the cup; and after giving thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank of it. And He said to them, 'This is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, which is poured out for many'" (vs 22-24). Remember, if there is a covenant, blood must be shed. In Gen. 15 He promised that He would die. So here He is giving the result of that promise—the New Covenant.

Now remember, He had made a covenant with Israel and Israel became the wife of the Lord God of the Old Testament. In order to terminate that covenant, the covenant Maker had to die. That's one of the reasons why Christ died, to end the covenant that He had with Israel, so He could have the New Covenant with those who would be called that would come into the church. Then He said He would not drink of it until He would do it in the Kingdom of God.

Then what did they do? You go down through the chapter here. They went out after Peter said, 'Well, you know, I'm going to rescue you, Lord. I'll never deny You.' What did He say? 'I tell you today in this very night, you're going to deny Me three times,' and he did. So then they went out to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Verse 33: "And He took Peter and James and John with Him; and He began to be deeply troubled and heavy-hearted. And He said to them, 'My soul is filled with anguish, even to death; remain here and watch'" (vs 33-34).

He went forward, got on His knees, prostrated Himself, asked God, 'Is this really the final thing?' He knew it was, but He asked that question so that He would have absolutely no reservation in His mind whatsoever that this was going to be carried out, because it was an irrevocable maledictory oath that He had pledged to Abraham. Even after He asked God that question, then we go on and we find that He was ready to be arrested. Judas Iscariot came out with a band with soldiers and so forth. He was arrested at midnight.

Isn't that interesting? Midnight was the time of what happened in Egypt. God killed the firstborn of the Egyptians, man and beast, and spared the children of Israel, firstborn man and beast—right? Here now is the Son of God, God manifested in the flesh, the One Who had pledged His very being to die so that there would be the spiritual seed of the sons of Abraham. At midnight God did not pass over Christ, but sent Him off for the trial and eventual execution and crucifixion. If you come down in the column here, this is what we find: New Covenant Passover instituted with foot-washing, bread and wine, words of the New Covenant. Then we have Jesus betrayed and was arrested and taken out. Then the trials began in the morning. Brought before Pilate, beaten and scourged, led away carrying His own cross, and He was crucified about the third hour, which then is about 9-A.M. our time.

I draw a parallel with that with the sacrifices that Abraham had to cut down the middle—correct? What happened to Jesus? He was beaten, He was scourged, and He was crucified! In carrying His cross, it's not like you see in the movies with the big huge cumbersome cross. Because it also says that He was crucified on a tree. Now how do you reconcile the two? This way: The Romans crucified so many people that they selected certain trees and they stripped them down of everything, and then put on there two iron arms to hang a crossbar. When it says He carried His own cross, He was carrying the crossbar. It was too heavy for Him, because He was beaten within an inch of His life, so they got Simon of Cyrene to carry it for Him. Then they took Him out there, and during the day portion of the fourteenth they began by nailing His hands to the crossbar, lifting Him up on the stake, into these iron arms that they had, and then they nailed His feet to the place where the feet would be nailed. And all of this was prophesied in Psa. 22 and Isa. 53.

Then what happened? You have the seven sayings of Jesus, everything that took place there, then you have a great darkness covering the earth. Some like to translate that an eclipse, but you can never have the eclipse of the sun at the time of the full moon. You can only have an eclipse of the moon at the time of the full moon, never the sun. That covered the earth for three hours, from the sixth hour until the time that Jesus died. Now you know all the things that went on.

After they were mocking Him. And this was prophesied, all of these things were prophesied. Jesus knew what He was going to go through. Mark 15:33: "Now at the sixth hour, darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour; and at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' which is, being interpreted, 'My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?'" (vs 33-34).

For the first time in His entire physical life, Jesus Christ had to be totally alone and not have any communication with God the Father, because He alone had to die this death. We know from John 10 that He said, 'I lay down My life. No one takes it from Me. I lay it down and the Father has given Me command that I may receive it back.' That would be at the resurrection after three days and three nights in the tomb. They thought He was crying for Elijah and He wasn't, so they gave Him some vinegar on a sponge.

Verse 37: "And after crying out with a loud voice, Jesus expired. And the veil of the temple was split in two from the top to bottom." That's a very interesting statement, because at that time they had the refurbished temple that Herod had built, and they had a huge veil that covered from the top. They had a huge stone lintel that they had right at the very top of the temple being about 40-50 feet in the air, maybe 60 feet in the air. They had 72 parts to this curtain. It was knit together with linen and was about three to four inches thick. So, for that to rip in the middle, there had to be an angel to strike that upper lintel and just split that veil all the way through.

Then there was a great earthquake, which upset the whole temple area. There couldn't have been any of the Passover lambs slain for the fifteenth Passover at that time, because of this act. Now, imagine what the priests in the temple were thinking when that took place. Where He was crucified, you have the Temple Mount over here, and then to the east you have the Mount of Olives coming up and it's a little higher than the Temple Mount. Where Jesus was crucified was near the top of the Mount of Olives facing the temple area. And there was also right near that what was called the Miphkad Altar. The Miphkad Altar was a special altar where all the sin offerings that had been offered at the temple were taken out and wholly burned in this altar, which then is called The Altar Without the Camp, or outside the city. That's where it says 'where our Lord was crucified' (Heb. 13).

Notice what happened; notice the reaction of the Roman soldiers, the centurion in particularly. He'd witnessed all these things. He had witnessed the crucifixion, witnessed the darkness, witnessed the casting of the lots, watched Him die.

Verse 39: "Then the centurion who stood facing Him, witnessing the words that He cried out as He was dying, said, 'Truly this man was the Son of God.'" And so Christ died at the ninth hour, about 3-P.M. That was a type of the great sleep that fell upon Abraham. Then the 'horror of great darkness' took place just as the 14th day was ending and the 15th day was beginning. That applies to the burial of Christ.

Joseph of Arimathea got the body, Nicodemus came with a hundred pounds of spices and aloe and they literally wrapped the body of Jesus. What they had was linen about six to nine inches wide and they would start winding around the legs, and put in some spices, winding around the legs, put in the spices. Do both legs, do the torso, do the arms, and up to the neck. Then on the face they put a special napkin. Then just right as the fourteenth day was ending and the fifteenth day was beginning, Christ was put into the tomb. It was sealed with this gigantic rock. It was a round rock and that's how they sealed the tomb. They ran the rock over it, covered the entrance of it, and that was the 'horror of great darkness.' Then later the next day the priests and Pharisees came to Pilate and said, 'Well, we know that the disciples said He would come alive after three days or be resurrected after three days, so please go seal the tomb and put the soldiers there, lest someone come and steal the body and the error become even worse.' Well, you're not going to stop what God is going to do. So they sealed it. We know that after three days and three nights Jesus was resurrected.

Let's equate this with baptism; let's go back to Galatians 3 and reread that. Then we will equate this to baptism, and see why then we are the heirs of Abraham and heirs of the promise that was given to Abraham for the spiritual seed, and let's see how that applies to us and what that means with baptism. Because, you see, what we need to understand is, God has called us:

  • to be a part of His plan
  • to be a part of His family
  • to enter into that covenant with God the Father and Jesus Christ

—so we can receive eternal life. But that requires something on our part.

Galatians 3:27: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.... [v 29]: ...And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Let's understand how this applies to baptism.

Before we get there, let's come to Galatians 2:20, and let's see what Paul said. "I have been crucified with Christ... [Very interesting wording—isn't it?] ...yet I live.... [I'm still in the flesh.] ...Indeed, it is no longer I; but Christ lives in me.... [John 15—'if you keep My commandments as I have kept My Father's commandments, you shall live in My love. I will dwell in You and you in Me.'] ...For the life that I am now living in the flesh... [Which we do after we're baptized—right?] ...I live by faith—that very faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.... [All of this then is an act of grace to put us in right standing with God] ...I do not nullify the grace of God' for if righteousness... [that is justification] through works of law, then Christ died in vain" (vs 20-21).

Let's see how this applies to us. Romans 6 becomes very important for us to understand, and it shows how then we are crucified with Christ in relationship to His sacrifice and in relationship to the maledictory oath as was pictured by Abraham, because 'we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.'

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?" (vs 1-2). How did we die to sin? We died to sin through baptism. And that baptism has to do with the sacrifice of Christ and baptism has to do with our part of our maledictory oath to God that we will be faithful unto the end. If God took a maledictory oath upon Himself to die for the sins of the world of His creation, and eventually to open salvation to all mankind, and He's going to give us eternal life—what does our pledge to God have to be? It's greater than a commitment. It is a pledge of a maledictory oath that we are conjoined to the sacrifice of Christ. And it's all contained right here in Rom. 6.

Verse 3: "Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?" That's why Paul said, 'I'm crucified with Christ, yet nevertheless I live. And the life I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of man Who gave Himself for me.' What does it mean to be baptized into His death? That's why baptism cannot be sprinkling. It has to be by full water immersion. That's why those who claim to be Christians, and who say you don't need to be baptized now are depriving people of a covenant relationship with God.

Verse 4: "Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death..." That's the way it reads in the original Greek. Whose death is it? Christ's death!] that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life." Baptism is your maledictory pledge that you pledge your life unto death to be faithful to God.

Also the reverse is true. If you do despite to the sacrifice of Christ and you reject the sacrifice of Christ and reject the Truth of God and go back into the world in malice and forethought—now that's not backsliding, this is deliberate malice and forethought, rejecting all that God has done for you—you have already pledged your future death in the Lake of Fire by the act of baptism. That's why a covenant pledge and a covenant sacrifice and a covenant oath is greater than a commitment.

That's why it says here, v 5: "For we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death..." So rather than you dying, God takes the sacrifice of Christ and applies it to you for the forgiveness of your sins. And His sacrifice and His shed blood becomes the sacrifice for the forgiveness of all of our sins for those who believe in Christ, believe in the Father, repent of sins, and are baptized. That is something—isn't it?

Verse 6: "Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed... [overcoming the thoughts and changing and growing and overcoming. That's how we do it.] (Notice it is a process): order that the body of sin might be destroyed..." It's not instantly done, where the instant you are baptized, yes, you're forgiven your sins, but are you totally sinless in thought and in action? No, you have to overcome that daily. You have to put that out daily.

"...might be destroyed, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin; because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin. Now if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him" (vs 6-8).

So here is the pledge. Here is the agreement. Then you add to that all the words of John 13-17 and put it all together, this is the great plan that God is doing. This is why it can't be by our own physical works, though God has given us many good works to walk in and to do. Yes, we need to do those things. Those expressions show our love to God, but what we are going to do is put away carnal nature, human nature, the sin within, the cleansing, the scrubbing, the cleaning, the overcoming. That's all a part of it.

Verse 9: "Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him. For when He died, He died unto sin once for all..." (vs 9-10). Isn't it interesting, He is called the 'Lamb of God who takes the sin of the world' and that sin came to human beings through Adam. It's called sin, from whence comes all human sins (in the plural).

"...but in that He lives, He lives unto God. In the same way also..." (vs 10-11). This is the transformation that takes place mentally, physically, spiritually from the inside, that is the result of baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit.

" should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof" (vs 11-12). Then he shows how we are to overcome. Don't let unrighteousness rule, but let Christ rule.

Colossians 3 shows what is to happen with us, showing how we are to change and grow and overcome. We all have sinful nature, we all have human nature and here shows then the activity of the reason for keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Put sin out, put righteousness in. Put in the character of God, put out human nature.

Colossians 3:12: "Put on then, as the elect of God, Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. And above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection" (vs 12-14). What God is doing with us now is perfecting us:

  • through the process of conversion
  • through grace
  • through overcoming
  • through forgiving
  • through all of these things

Here's what is to happen: from having a carnal, sinful mind, from within come wickedness and sin, as Jesus said, now here's the change in our minds.

Verse 15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts... [Total change—isn't it? Yes!] which you were called into one body, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom... [Might add here—that's the solution to Laodiceanism. Be rich in the Spirit of God. Be rich in the Word of God.] ...teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And in everything—whatever you do in word or in deed—do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him" (vs 15-17).

That's how we are connected to the sacrifice of Christ and how we are in covenant relationship with Him, to receive His Spirit, to receive His love, and to constantly look to God for everything that we do. And let the Spirit of God lead us and guide us. That's how we answer the question of Gal. 3: 'if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' That's beginning with the maledictory oath that God took that He would die and our being conjoined to that through baptism, and then receiving the Spirit of God to walk in newness of life.

Scriptural References:

  • Galatians 3:26-29
  • Matthew 13:10-11
  • Ephesians 1:7-11
  • Exodus 12:3-6, 37-42
  • Genesis 15:1-18
  • Daniel 12:1-3
  • Matthew 13:43
  • Mark 14:12-13, 17-18, 22-24, 33-34
  • Mark 15:33-34, 37-39
  • Galatians 3:27, 29
  • Galatians 2:20-21
  • Romans 6:1-12
  • Colossians 3:12-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 13:8
  • Genesis 3:15
  • Hebrews 7
  • Genesis 17
  • Revelation 1
  • John 14, 15, 16, 17
  • Psalm 22
  • Isaiah 53
  • John 10
  • Hebrews 13
  • John 15

Also referenced:

  • Book: The Christian Passover by Fred R. Coulter
  • Booklet: The Christian Passover Ceremony
  • Sermon: How to Figure the 400-430 Years

Transcribed: 03-03-10
Formatted: bo—3-5-10
Corrected: bo—1-24-12