Key Passage: Galatians 6: 11-17
Key Text: Galatians 6: 14 – “But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
Nobody actually knows what happened on the day after Jesus was crucified. It must have been a very silent day and for the disciples a solemn one. We know it was a Sabbath day, so they were not at work, so they must have had time to really reflect and consider what had just happened. I wonder if they were just in shock and horror of the brutal way their leader was killed. I wonder if they just sat there in fear, not knowing if the Pharisees and Sadducees we were going to come after them next. Perhaps they began to doubt that Jesus was truly the Messiah. Why would He die like that? I am not sure they had time to contemplate all that Jesus said to them and the Torah and the Prophets they had studied, to find meaning in their predicament. Today, let me show you some vignettes of the cross from the bible, so that whoever is in doubt that this was an orchestration of God, would finally have to surrender and accept that God was at work even as Christ was being crucified.
Let’s go right to the beginnings and see the creation of man. In Genesis 2:21-22 we read “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” This is one the first pictures of the cross we see in the bible. How God put Adam to sleep and out of his side He pulled out a rib and formed the woman and brought her to Adam. God put Jesus to a deep sleep and out of His side flowed blood and water, which we have now learnt was the birthing of the church, which is the bride of Christ, much like Eve was the wife of Adam.
Moving on in Genesis 22, we read the account of God telling Abraham to take Isaac up a specific mountain range and offer his only son as a sacrifice to God. We see that as Abraham went up the mount of Moriah, his son Isaac asked him about the lamb for the offering and Abraham answered that God himself will provide the lamb. Abraham bound Isaac up and was laid him on the wood on the alter and was about to plunge the knife into him, when God stopped him and said he should not offer Isaac, instead God showed him a ram with its head caught in a thicket, and asked Abraham to offer that instead of his son. Jesus said in John 8:56 – “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” God told Abraham to go up to the mount of Moriah, we understand that this is the same mountain range on which Calvary stands and Jesus was crucified. Isaac was Abraham’s loved child, so is Jesus. Abraham was to offer him up as a sacrifice, God offered His son up for the redemption and salvation of man. Finally the ram with its head caught in a thicket, is the picture of Jesus with the crown of thorns on His head, bound by God to suffer for humanity. He was our replacement. Abraham saw this and rejoiced. This was another vignette of the awesome cross of Jesus Christ.
Next we consider the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and the night we now know as the Passover night. God told Moses to tell the Israelites to take a lamb and kill it at twilight and put its blood on the lintel and door posts of their houses and then eat the lamb with unleavened bread that same night. God told them that the Angel of death will pass through the land of Egypt killing all the first borns of Egypt, both man and beast, but the angel of death will Passover the homes of the Israelites where the blood has been applied. This event is loaded will pictures of the cross and the redemption and deliverance of mankind from the power and dominion of Satan. The Lamb is a picture of Christ. Pharaoh is a picture of Satan. Egypt is a picture of the world of sin. But just consider this simple truth. If you were to join the bloodstains on the doorposts with one straight line, and then join the blood on the lintel with another straight line, you would have a cross. Was this a coincidence or God speaking?
Time and space will not allow me to write on the gallows of Haman, built to destroy Mordecai the Jew, but became the place Haman was hung and met his end; the death of Samson between the two pillars of the Philistine temple and the killing of all the Lords of the Philistine in his death; The Tree of Life; The Tree that Moses put into the bitter waters of Marah to make it sweet; The clothing God made for Adam and Eve, immediately after they sinned; The curse God placed on the serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” Jesus is the seed of the woman, and the serpent bruised His heel by putting Him on the Cross, but on that same Cross, Jesus crushed the head of the serpent , Satan; The striking of the Rock to bring forth water in the wilderness; The story of Jonah in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights; the Esther fast for three days and nights to deliver the Jews from Haman’s plot to destroy them; The day of Atonement in the book of Leviticus and the high Priest entering the Holy of Holies with the blood; and so much more.
But I will close today’s reflection on the Brazen serpent on a pole; the people of God began complaining and grumbling against God and Moses and God sent serpents among them and the serpents began to bite them and some of them died. God then told Moses to make a brazen serpent and put in on a pole and whoever looked at it will be healed.
We all have been in some way or another been bitten by the Serpent, Satan and have all fallen short of the glory of God, but God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be saved by His righteousness. This is a clear picture of the cross, the Brazen Serpent on a pole is a picture of Jesus on the cross, taking upon Himself the sinfulness of man, and anyone who looks at the cross and believes will be saved in that instant. Jesus referred to this event in John 3:14-15 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
Need I say more!
Let’s Pray: Father God, your word tells us “the fool has said in his heart there is no God”. Help us not to be fools, but wise by believing the scriptures and submitting our lives to serving the living God. Again today, I simply want to say Lord I believe. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe He is God’s only Son. I believe He came and died on the cross. I believe He died my death and gave me His life. I believe He rose from the dead. I believe He ascended into Heaven. I believe He is seated at your right hand. I believe He will come again. I believe He has prepared a place for me in heaven. I believe I will spend eternity with Him. I believe He has made me your son too. I believe I believe. In Jesus name. Amen.