Out of the great and dreadful darkness that overcame Abraham, the LORD appeared in the light of a flaming torch and passed between the sacrificial portions of the covenant. The LORD spoke to Abraham and made promises to him about the birth of a seed and about his seed returning and taking possession the land of Canaan.
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Genesis 15:18)
Genesis 15:18 seems to allude to the final redemption when it says that the LORD made His covenant with Abraham “on that day.” The prophets use the formulaic words, “on that day,” to indicate the future day of the LORD, the hour of judgment, and the final redemption. The LORD showed Abraham the future through the vision recorded in Genesis 15. The sages say, “He revealed to him the future from the day of the Exodus from Egypt until the day of Messiah.” The tradition about Abraham’s vision of the Messianic Era explains why our Master said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Messiah—the coming kingdom of heaven on earth.
On what day did the LORD make His covenant with Abraham? The exodus from Egypt occurred four hundred and thirty years later “on that very day” (Exodus 12:41). That means that the exodus from Egypt and the first day of Passover (Nisan 15) coincided with the anniversary of the very day that God made the covenant with Abraham. Four hundred and thirty years before the first Passover, Abraham slaughtered the animals for his covenant on the fourteenth of Nisan. Then he waited. He drove off the birds. He waited for the LORD. The sun went down, darkness fell, and the fifteenth of Nisan began, which is the first day of the week of Passover. The Almighty appeared in the form of the blazing torch and made the covenant with Abraham.
This implies that on the anniversary of the day on which Abraham slaughtered the animals in order to make the covenant between the parts with the LORD—that self-same day, the fourteenth of Nisan—the children of Israel slaughtered their Passover lambs in Egypt. What is more, our Master suffered and died on the anniversary of that same day. On the anniversary of the night that Abraham had his vision of great and terrible darkness, the angel of death slew Egypt’s firstborn. On the eve of Passover, as the sun set, they closed the Master’s tomb. A great and dreadful darkness fell, but out of the darkness, a light blazed forth.