In Old Testament times the two parties making a covenant would agree together about whatever it would be.
They then would take various animals such as heifers, goats, and rams and slaughter them.
They would then cut the animals in half. The animals were sliced right down the middle. The blood ran out and covered the ground, but the entrails and all the bits were still in place.
The halves of those creatures would then be laid out in two rows with a space between just wide enough for the two people to fit. Then those making the covenant would walk between the halves of those slaughtered animals.
In doing so, the two parties were agreeing, ‘If I ever break this covenant, May what happened to these animals happen to me.’ This was a deadly serious ritual…
This is the same type of covenant that God made with Abram and his seed in Genesis 15:9-18. The Lord told Abram to get the animals, kill them and cut them in half. So Abram did exactly as he was instructed...
God then caused Abram to fall into a deep sleep, and God himself went between the sacrifice… As a smoking furnace…
Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: Our God is a consuming fire…
And as a burning lamp; God the Son, Christ,
Luke 1:79. a light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death… Luke 2:32. ‘A light to lighten the Gentiles’ John 1:4 ‘the light of men’ John 1:9. ‘The true Light’
While Abram was unconscious, God walked the space between those cut-in-two animals accompanied by The Son. Genesis 15:17.
In doing so they were agreeing, ‘If either of us ever breaks this covenant, May what happened to these animals happen to me.’
God the Father (the smoking furnace, the refiners fire, a consuming fire) made a covenant with Christ (the burning lamp) while Abram slept… why? Because he knew that Abram could not keep the covenant.
If Abram had been allowed to walk through the sacrifice he would have been held responsible for his own sin and would have had to die. Remember the wages of sin is death…
That’s exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. He took the punishment that you and I deserved and gave us mercy and forgiveness. He was made to be sin with our sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
That’s why God punished his own Son in our place, his covenant was with his Son; not Abram, not us.
In Isaiah 53 we read;
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; He was despised and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opens not his mouth.
Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
In Pilates judgement hall ‘they made his back like a ploughed field they laid long their furrows’ Psalm 129:3 at the cross, ‘they cut him off from the land of the living,’ for our transgressions Isaiah 53:8
After Calvary, after the lamb was slain, after the new covenant in his blood was sealed, after Christ had ‘walked through the winepress alone’, Isaiah 63:3 after he ‘took our infirmities and carried our sicknesses’ Matthew 8:17…
He passed from death to life through the pieces of his own broken, sacrificed body declaring, ‘because Abram’s seed broke the covenant, let what was done unto the sacrifice be done unto me’
They made the covenant, not Abram,
They walked through the sacrifice not Abram.
They made the covenant declaring, ‘if either of us break this covenant may it be done unto me which was done unto these animals’
In this they were declaring; ‘Pstor, elder, preacher, teacher, anyone, the whosoever will believe; if ‘you’ break the covenant, butcher me, flay my back until its like a ploughed field, bruise me, put me to grief, cut me off from the land of the living’ I will be the propitiation (the atoning victim) Romans 3:25 the scapegoat, which made an atonement for all, Leviticus 16:10
He was declaring before his Father; (Isaiah 53)
If Abram or his seed are despised, then you despise me,
If they become rejected of men then let me too be rejected by you,
If men hide their faces from them, then hide your face from me,
If they are sorrowful, then let me be in sorrow,
If they suffer grief, let me be put to grief,
If they transgresses against you, then wound me,
If they fall into iniquity, then bruise me,
If they loose their peace, chastise me,
If they get sick, cause me to be striped with many stripes that they may be healed,
If they go astray, then cause their iniquity to become mine,
If they become oppressed and afflicted, let me be the lamb to be slaughtered
If they are imprisoned and judged, let me be cut off from the land of the living and for their transgressions let me be stricken,
If they are slaughtered, then let me be their substitute and prolong his days,
If Abram sins, let me become sin with his sin so that he might receive your righteousness.
He was saying to God the Father;
See the travail of my soul and be satisfied for I have borne their iniquities and have poured out my soul unto death,
I will be numbered with the transgressors and will bare their sins and make intercession for them.
He then took the blood of the new covenant and made atonement for the sins of the whole world; 1 John 2:2
‘For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.’ Hebrews 9:26
That’s why Peter could record so boldly… ‘By whose stripes we were healed’ 1 Peter 2:24…
‘Stripes… ((kaw-rath') to cut off, cut down or cut asunder; to destroy or consume; specifically to covenant i.e. to make an alliance or bargain, originally by cutting flesh and passing between the pieces:
That the reason Paul could write ‘there is now therefore no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus’ Romans 8:1 He was made to be sin with our sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
That’s why ‘sin has no dominion over us’ we are not under the law but under grace; Romans 6:14 He was made to be sin with our sin that we might become the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
That’s why he is a father to the fatherless, a husband to the widow, he knows the pain of walking life’s winepress alone Isaiah 63:3
That’s why he healed the sick and the infirmed and all that came to him and that’s why he heals today; He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, chastised that we may have peace, put to grief and by his stripes we are healed.
He made atonement by allowing his flesh to be cut off, to be destroyed and cut asunder and by passing through from death to life. All to make good his covenant with Abram and with all who would believe.
When we break covenant with God, the blood of Christ cries out, ‘remember the covenant’
When we break the covenant with our spouse, the blood of Christ cries out, ‘remember the covenant’
When we break the covenant with our mum or dad, the blood of Christ cries out, ‘remember the covenant’
When we break the covenant with our brother or sister, the blood of Christ cries out, ‘remember the covenant’
When we get sick the blood of Christ cries out; ‘remember my stripes’
When we run into debt the blood of Christ cries out; Remember I became poor that they might be rich
That is the true cost of your sin and mine; that’s the level of Gods grace toward us, that’s the depth of his love;
Can we then abuse him again and again?
Its time to stop hurting one another, to mend broken hearts and heal open sores and to do it all in remembrance of Christ…