Summary: To establish the Christ – the promised seed passed through the pieces to confirm Jehovah’s covenant agreement with Abram. This lesson dispels the notion that the disciples stole the body of Jesus; rather than it being raised from the dead.
1. The Covenant (with Abram) of Promise
2. The Continuing (Unchangeable) Priesthood
3. The Cerecloth (Linen Wrap) Pervaded
1. In this lesson we will be discussing the theme: “Passing through the pieces.” The hope of our salvation and the assurance of our faith are due entirely through the certainty that Jesus is the Son of God; and His passing through the pieces for us in His covenant agreement with Abram; His continuing (unchangeable) Priesthood; and His pervading (passing) through the linen cloth, during His resurrection from the dead. This will be one of our “topical” sermons presented to the Church of Christ. I chose to present it in this format because I can speak of several instances where we might suggest there was a “passing through the pieces.”
2. First, we will discuss the covenant promise God made with Abram in His passing through the pieces during their covenant agreement. It was necessary for a sacrifice to be prepared that would be sufficient for the God of heaven to confirm His promises made to Abram; that through “his seed shall all the nations of the earth would be blessed,” by Jesus Christ. Who is the “promised seed of Abraham”; that is, “the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel,” Ephesians 3:6.
3. Second, we will describe Christ’s setting up His continuing (unchanging) priesthood; that resulted when He passed through the temple vail, that was “rent from top to bottom,” at His death on the cross. The removal of this veil, set up the continuing (unchanging) priesthood of Christ as our High Priest, “whoever liveth to make intercession for us,” Hebrew 7:25. The death and resurrection of Christ; made it possible through heaven’s intervention to allow for us “human intercession;” “into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us; through the veil, that is to say, His flesh,” Hebrews 10:19-21.
4. Lastly, we will investigate the final thought “in the passing through the pieces;” that is, Jesus’ pervading through the cerecloth (linen wrap); bound around His body, the day of His resurrection, from the dead. We affirm in this statement that the tomb was not open to let Jesus out; but to allow us to go in, and inspect the place where His body once laid. The assessment of the tomb clearly establishes that Jesus was raised from the dead; and the disciples did not steal the body as it was reported by the Roman Officials; and many today that deny the John’s account of the “resurrection of Christ,” John 19:40; John 20:4-7. With this introduction, let’s consider our first thought: “the covenant (with Abram) of promise,” that God made unto him during their covenant agreement.
BODY OF LESSON
I THE COVENANT (WITH ABRAM) OF PROMISE
A. Promise to Abram. In the setting before us, Jehovah is entering a covenant agreement with Abram: “That, in his seed shall all the nations of the earth would be blessed,” Genesis 22:18. This agreement will have lasting benefits for us today; because of Jehovah’s pledge unto Abram.
1. The promise: “And he brought him (Abram) forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, so shall thy seed be,” Genesis 15:5. This was God’s promise to Abram before entering into a “covenant” relationship with him, which was intended to ratify this promise.
2. I brought you out. “And He said to him, I am Yahweh that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it,” Genesis 15:7.
3. How will I know? Abram asked: “And he said, O Lord Yahweh, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?” Genesis 15:8.
4. Abram desired proof of Jehovah’s promise. Out of all the promises that Jehovah has made unto Abram; this land promise is the only one he requested assurance from Jehovah.
B. The preparation of the pieces. Jehovah said: “And He said to him, Take me a heifer three years old, and a she-goat three years old, and a ram three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young pigeon,” Genesis 15:9.
1. Arranging of the pieces: “And he took him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each half over against the other: but the birds divided he not. And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away,” Genesis 15:10-11.
2. Abram’s deep sleep: “And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him,” Genesis 15:12.
3. Israel’s history foretold: “And He (Jehovah) said to Abram, Know of a surety that your seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years,” Genesis 15:13. The Lord God outlines the history of Abram seed as such: