Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lifted High

The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by the snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:8-9

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:14-16

The Israelites became impatient in the wilderness. They spoke against God and against Moses. They complained about everything from food to personal safety. They detested the Lord's provisions and Moses' leadership, and in doing this, the Lord sent venomous snakes among them, the snakes bit the people and many Israelites died. The Israelites repented of their sin and asked Moses to pray to the LORD asking Him to take the snakes away. Instead of taking the snakes out of the wilderness, the LORD, provided the Israelites with a means of escaping death. The means of escape, a bronze snake, lifted high on a pole and anyone who looks upon the snake will be saved from the deadly bite of the serpent.

The serpent's first hiss at humanity, "Did God really say, you shall not eat from any tree in the garden?" nay, "You will not surely die" and again " For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:1,4,5. Subtle whispers, luring promises and partial truths caused Eve to take the first bite, and since the fall, it has been the serpent who was given the authority to bite the flesh of man and deliver the fatal bite of death. Before Adam and Eve's bite into the apple, the serpent had no authority to take life. But because of Adam and Eve's unbelief and rebellion against God, the serpent has been given this authority. Adam and Eve chose the serpent over God and in doing so the Spirit God breathed within them died and with this death, all men died and were born into sin. 1Corinthians 15:31

But just as God made provisions for Adam and Eve in the form of animal skins, where a sacrifice had to be performed, He provided a means of escape in the wilderness from the deadly bite of the viper.  He sent the vipers because of their grumbling and rebellion and yet lifted a bronze snake up on a pole to be the means of escape against the deadly bite of the serpent. This is a foreshadowing to the future Messiah which would be lifted up for the sins of many. Ultimately, God provides humanity with the gift of Jesus, the sacrifice of His Son. Jesus, the One who spoke creation into being, and through whom all things where made, humbled Himself and came down to dwell among men. He did what we could not do for ourselves. He perfectly obeyed the law and then was numbered a transgressor. He fulfilled the Law. He took our place. We received His righteousness, He received what we deserved, death and judgement.
Through one man, death came into the world but also through one man, resurrection from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:31
Sinless perfection lifted up on our behalf where He bore our sins. He was humiliated forsaken of men so that we may receive His righteousness and pardon. His righteous record imputed to us, and in His humiliation, we have been set free from the power of death. When you look upon Him, lifted up on your behalf, and believe upon Him, the One without sin, the bite of the serpent has no venom and death has been conquered. Jesus conquered the grave and His resurrection was the final first fruits offering to God, But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming.1 Corinthians 15:20-23. We will not all die but be raised, just as He was raised. Look upon Him, the Author and Perfecter of your faith. Gaze upon His sacrifice and take hold of His provision. Trust in His declaration, "It is finished".  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift from God. Ephesians 2:8
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16