Easter: The Prequel

First published in April, 2012

Before Jesus on Earth, before the cross, before the Easter morning resurrection, God wrote another story on the pages of history.

The main characters were God, Himself, and a man named Abram. They had known each other for many years and although Abram had not always been a great guy, God had watched the man’s back.

When this story began, God and Abram had just returned from a special mission to rescue Abram’s nephew, who had been kidnapped by four neighboring armies. They had worked well together. Abram had supplied 318 men from his household as soldiers. God had supplied the victory.

As they were reveling in the success of their mission, God inserted a twist in the plot of His saga on Earth.

Rather than leaving Abram with a nice parting gift . . . like the watercolor rainbow He had painted for Noah or the fig leaf formal wear He had given to Adam, . . . God decided to stay with this man and treat him like family. He promised to become a generous benefactor, a vigilant guardian and a caring father figure for Abram.

With this new relationship, Abram would receive God’s protection from his enemies and full access to all God’s riches.

Abram believed God.

And then, in effect, he asked, ”Can we shake on it?”

But, unfortunately, the gentleman’s handshake, the germaphobe’s fist bump and the unbreakable pinky promise had not yet come to be. In Abram’s time and place, a serious agreement was sealed with a blood covenant.

A blood covenant was a sacred agreement that bound two people together until death and then was passed on to the next generations. It was the ultimate symbol of loyalty and fidelity making the two as one, never to be separated.

The ritual required that animals be killed, cut in half and laid on the ground with a path between the pieces. When the blood of the animals covered the ground, God and Abram would walk between the carcasses and meet in the middle to promise fidelity to each other.

By walking the path of blood, each of them would declare that if they broke the covenant, they would be as the animals that were sacrificed.

The crisis of the story happens here because God knew that the blood covenant would seal his promises to Abram. But, He also knew that should Abram or his children break this relationship with Him . . . reject Him in any way, the covenant would require their deaths.

So, God put Abram to sleep. And He walked the blood path to seal His promise to Abram. And then, He turned around and walked the path again . . . in Abram’s place.

If Abram or any of his descents broke the blood covenant, someone would die.

But it would not be Abram or any of his descendants.

It would not be me.

This story began in Chapter 15 of Genesis . . . and was continued at Calvary.