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The Serpent Aloft - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
October 3, 2023 8:00 am

The Serpent Aloft - 4

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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October 3, 2023 8:00 am

This is the fourth in a series -Christ and Creatures- from Dr. John McKnight.

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Well, good evening and how good it is once again to be with you in the gospel of our triumphant Savior, to seek his face together and to consider this evening that one who, like the serpent in the wilderness, was to be lifted up and indeed was lifted up.

And because of that, we can sing, blessed be the name of the Lord. Indeed, the text this evening comes from John the third chapter. We will be working toward that text, God helping us in the process of the message this evening. The text in verse number 14 of John 3, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up. And what I trust to do with you this evening is begin at an earlier portion in the Old Testament scriptures. In fact, if you want to turn in the scripture to the book of Genesis and chapter three, we will begin there and then we'll progress on from that third chapter and end up, God helping us here at the third chapter of the gospel of John.

But Genesis chapter three is where I trust to begin this evening. Before the first sin was committed by which the entire human race was plunged beneath the curse of sin, before that sin was committed, there was a battle in heaven of which we know very, very little. The prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah mention it to us, telling us of one named Lucifer. That was the name that Isaiah cites for him. Ezekiel says he was an anointed cherub and whatever it was that took place, this being who evidently was a brilliant angelic spirit, revolted against God almighty, vowed that he would ascend into heaven and would be like God.

And though our understanding of it is very, very scant, we don't need to know much about it. Yet it would appear to me that this one, this spirit being, imagined that he could usurp the place of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, and that is what he set out to do. And so making the Son of God the focus of his hatred, he was immediately cast out of heaven, and we know of him as Satan going to and fro upon the earth, walking about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. He would appear at various times to afflict the people of God, and when Christ came to earth, he appeared even to tempt Christ, as if he yet might have the opportunity to gain the upper hand, to get the superiority, and to take the throne that is rightfully and forevermore our saviors.

And so this one, once he was cast out, continues in what is a history-long titanic struggle against Christ. And that struggle we find in the early chapters of Genesis, an account that I'm sure you are all very familiar with, where Adam and Eve have been created and instructed that there is one tree from which they are not to eat fruit, and Satan appears with a serpent as his instrument, as his tool, as his disguise. And it's to be noted that Satan came against man, not against the creatures God had made. Oh yes, his action affected those creatures profoundly, they all die because of it, but he came against man.

He could not prevail against God, but his raging hatred for the Son of God prompted him therefore to focus his assault upon the one creature made in the image of God, nothing more like Christ than the creature God made in his own image, man. And so that was the focus of Satan's ire and attack. And to execute his attack from all of the creatures God had made, he chose the one that was most subtle, the one with the greatest skill, such skill that that creature, we can't fathom this because we know of no creatures like this, every creature lost every benefit and ability for communication such as the serpent did in the garden when man sinned.

But he chose that most subtle animal as the tempter of Eve. And you know how it went, the curse of sin fell upon mankind. And when God appeared to confront Adam and Eve with their sin, he informed Eve of the suffering she would endure because of that sin, informed Adam of the struggle against the elements that he would have to wage all his life in order to survive, and then informed the serpent and thereby Satan himself of what would be happening to him. So we read in Genesis chapter three and verse 14, the Lord God said to the serpent, because thou has done this, thou art cursed above all cattle and above every beast of the field. Upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed.

It shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel. Here's the first prophecy in scripture concerning the coming of Christ, the seed of the woman who would be the one to crush the serpent's head. And indeed, that would take place and we will come to that this evening. But here it is foretold. And I call this first point, the serpent in Eden. And there the doom of that one, the devil who came in the form of a serpent was announced. Now that matter, the doom of the serpent is something that I do not think is dropped in the scripture to be picked up again sometime in the book of Revelation.

But rather as we go through the scripture in shadowy form, we can see the progression of this work, which ultimately will find its culmination in Christ's triumph over the devil. We can see the inner workings of what is going on as we continue to observe the role of the serpent in the scripture. And so I would ask you to turn to Exodus chapter number three. We see the serpent in Eden, where the curse is pronounced upon it after it has brought men into sin. Now we see the serpent in Egypt, where a different set of circumstances arise, but it's to be noted first of all in Exodus chapter three in verse 20 that God is calling Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.

The book of Genesis, as you know, begins with creation and continues through to the time that the chosen people of Israel are taken into Egypt. And then Exodus begins with their enslavement and the deliverance of them from that enslavement. And in Exodus chapter three in verse number 20, God says to Moses, I will stretch out my hand.

Let us not forget whose hand it is. I will stretch out my hand, God says, and smite Egypt with all my wonders, which I will do in the midst thereof. And after that, he, Pharaoh, will let you go. And so we go now to chapter four and verse one of Egypt.

And as God is sending Moses into Pharaoh's circles to seek the deliverance of the people of Israel, Moses answered and said, But behold, they will not believe me nor hearken unto my voice, for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground. And it became a serpent. And Moses fled from before it.

I would have to. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand and caught it. And it became a rod in his hand that they may believe that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob hath appeared unto thee. And so now Moses has given this miraculous sign by which it will be demonstrated to the people in Egypt who are captive Egyptia Israelites, that indeed Moses comes with supernatural divine power, that when he says that he is sent of God for their deliverance, it is correct.

He is indeed the miracle working mouthpiece of God. And with this miracle of the rod cast down to become a serpent, Moses will go forward in the work he is called to do. Now in chapter four and verse 70 of Egypt of Exodus, as God instructs Moses as to how he is to approach Pharaoh, he says, Thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs. And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace. And the Lord said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return unto Egypt, for all the men are dead which sought thy life. And Moses took his wife and his sons and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

Very clearly there is a significance now attached to this rod. Moses will not go without it. This rod which supernaturally had turned from a rod to a serpent and then from a serpent back to a rod again.

Something is going on here which is larger and greater than mere physical activity or magic of man. We go to chapter seven of Exodus. And God is speaking to Moses again concerning his work. At verse number nine of chapter seven, when Pharaoh shall speak unto you saying, Show a miracle for you, then thou shalt say to Aaron, Take thy rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers. Now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments, for they cast on every man his rod, and they became serpents.

But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. Now with that background, think with me for a few moments. This was an age before there had been any scriptures written. We are accustomed to think of the first scripture written as being Genesis chapter one.

Of course, in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And we see the chronological sequence of the book of Genesis, and our thoughts instinctively go to the point that's where it begins in Genesis, but it doesn't. Do you recognize that the very first words of scripture ever written were the words written by the finger of God upon tables of stone on the top of Mount Sinai as God gave the law. And none of the scripture would be written until after the law had been given and Moses had been leading the people of Israel. And Moses to whom God gave the tables of stone engraved with the law with his own finger would proceed from that day to become the scribe of God by whom the first five books of the Bible were written. But at the time that Moses is standing before Pharaoh, even though it's reported in the second book of the Bible, none of the Bible had been written and none would be written until after the Exodus and they were gone out. And so we are in a time of history, the history of revelation in which God communicated his truth to his people, not in a written form such as soon would begin to be given, but by various means that we recognize as special revelation. He would appear in what we call theophanies.

You remember the day when in the heat of the day, Abraham was sitting in the door of his tent and three men appeared and he offered them the customary courtesies and welcome given in that nomadic desert setting. And as they conversed together, one of them began speaking things that only God could say and know. Abraham, your wife, which is well beyond the age of childbearing and has been barren all of her life, is going to have a son.

What is this? How can such a man appear seemingly out of nowhere with such a word as this? Surely this is one who has the power of life within him to transmit unto a barren womb of an aged woman the life needed to bring forth a new life. As this one continued speaking to Abraham, he informed him that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where Lot lived would be destroyed and it becomes evident that Abraham was speaking not simply to some wizard of a man, but to a deity. God communicated through that means to Abraham, we call it a theophany, the actual experience of God appearing in some visible experiential form that he might communicate his will and his purposes unto man. We know as well that God communicated his truth prior to writing the scripture by way of dreams. You recall the dream that Jacob had of the latter from earth to heaven upon which the angels ascended and descended and God there was communicating with him.

Surely God communicated with Noah by some means resulting in him obediently building the ark and being spared from the flood. All of these means God reused to reveal himself and his truth to mankind. We find also that God revealed himself unto men by physical items and objects.

The people of Israel as they went through the Red Sea on dry ground did not have any scripture written. The Ten Commandments had not yet been given and yet there was a pillar of fire then and there manifesting the presence of God with them and when they entered the sea it became a cloud between them and the Egyptians so that they could escape the Egyptians and God manifest his presence in that physical presence, the cloud, the fire. And as Moses was sent unto Pharaoh in order to orchestrate the deliverance of the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage, God would make his presence known with and upon Moses and it would appear to me that he did so by means of the rod. It is called the rod of God. And thus Moses has come to recognize that the rod turning into a serpent is certainly nothing he has done but that that rod by its very presence is the manifestation of the presence of one who can transform it from a mere rod into a serpent and then from a serpent back into a rod again.

He understands what God has said that we looked at in chapter three. I will stretch forth my hand and now it is evident that God's hand stretched forth is in the form of a rod that is in the hand of Moses. And thus when Moses is to leave the place of his father-in-law Jethro and take his family back with him to Egypt to begin the process of the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians, he packs up his family but the writer of scripture Moses is careful to include and Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

The rod I believe was a visible, tangible manifestation of the presence of God, of Christ the deliverer who always comes for the deliverance of his people as Moses went to Egypt and so we do not see the end of the rod simply with this. If you look further with me at chapter 7 and verse 15 of Exodus, the instruction is given, get thee to Pharaoh in the morning, lo he goeth out into the water and thou shalt stand by the river's spring against he come and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. Thus saith verse 17, thus saith the Lord, in this thou shalt know that I am the Lord, behold I will smite with the rod that is in thine hand upon the waters which are in the river and they shall be turned into blood. Verse 19, and the Lord spake to Moses saying to Aaron, take thy rod and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers and upon their ponds and upon all their pools of water that they may become blood and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt both in vessels of wood and vessels of stone and Moses and Aaron did so as the Lord commanded and he lifted up the rod and smote the waters that were in the river in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. We go to chapter 8 of Exodus in verse number 5, and the Lord spake unto Moses saying unto Aaron, say unto Aaron stretch forth thy hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers and over the ponds and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt and so there came the plague of frogs. And then we look at chapter 8 in verse number 16, and the Lord said unto Moses, say unto Aaron stretch out thy rod and smite the dust of the land that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt and they did so for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod and smote the dust of the earth and it became lice in man and in beast and the dust of the land became lice throughout all of the land of Egypt.

Who can turn dust into lice? The same one who turned dust into Adam creating him from the dust of the ground and so he is present and he is working and the presence of the rod is vital to what is taking place. Chapter 9 in verse number 23, and Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven and the Lord sent thunder and hail and the fire ran along upon the ground and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. Chapter 10 in verse number 13, and Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night and when it was morning the east wind brought the locusts and then chapter 14 as the people of Israel are hemmed in with the Red Sea before them the mountains surrounding them and the Egyptians ready to take them back. Verse 14 of chapter 14, the Lord shall fight for you and ye shall hold your peace but lift thou up thy rod and stretch out thine hand over the sea and divide it and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and made the sea dry land and the waters were divided and Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared and the Egyptians fled against it and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.

Now the people of Israel have escaped Egyptian bondage have escaped by way of the Red Sea and they are free in the desert wilderness without water and what a desert wilderness it is when you see the pictures of that part of the world. So we look at chapter 17 and verse number 3 and the people thirsted there for water and the people murmured against Moses and said wherefore is this that thou has brought us up out of Egypt to kill us and Moses and said to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst and Moses cried into the Lord saying what shall I do into this people they be almost ready to stone me and the Lord said unto Moses go on before the people and take with thee of the elders of Israel and thy rod wherewith thou smotest the river take in thine hand and go behold I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb and thou shalt smite the rock and there shall come out water of it that the people may drink and Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And then we read on in that 17th chapter of Exodus and we find that the children of Amalek came out against the people of Israel. Here they were a defenseless multitude out in the midst of the desert without food without armies or defense they had just escaped from Egypt and the Amalekites come after them and in a manner that was most disgraceful and cowardly. And so verse 2 of chapter 17 speaking to the children of Israel and take of every one of them a rod I'm sorry I'm in the wrong place there verse number 9 of chapter 17 and Moses said to Joshua choose us out men and go out fight with Amalek and tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand and you know the story that follows there Moses was on the top of the hill with his hands aloft and as long as his hands were raised Israel was prevailing in its battle against Amalek but his arms got tired and began to sink down and as they sank down Amalek would begin to prevail against Israel and so Aaron and her came to his side to hold up his hands and as long as his hands were held up aloft Israel prevailed and what we may be inclined to forget is that it was not simply the holding up of his hands but we are told he had taken the rod of God in his hands and as he held the rod aloft victory was assured for the people of Israel and when he could no longer hold it by his own strength his helpers on either side held his hands up until the day was done and the victory was won and the rod of God once again had been the means of victory I think you get the point I'm trying to make that this rod whatever the circumstances were I cannot fathom them all was nonetheless a manifestation of the presence of Christ with his people and therefore when we return back to the event in the courts of Pharaoh where the rod was cast down and became a serpent do we not see the picture of the one who is the very son of God coming down to earth to be a curse for us entering into another state of being of humanity and though he never sinned and would never sin yet he entered into our condition he suffered all the sinless infirmities of humanity he knew what it was to thirst to hunger to get weary and sleep in a storm-tossed ship he knew what it was to weep he knew what it was to hurt he knew what it was to die Christ became everything that the curse has brought except for deliberate sin himself and yet we are told further that he who knew no sin was made to be sin for us do we not see in the casting of the rod on the marbled floor of Pharaoh's palace the picture of the one who is our power submitting to the role of the cursed creature and Pharaoh brings his demonic assistance in who by their own tricks and enchantment cast rods down that also become serpents what an imitator Satan is in his deceptions and would there have foiled the very miracle given by God by means of the rod to Moses in order to hijack the deliverance of the people of Israel for they were the vessel through whom Messiah would come for our deliverance but when they cast their rods down and by whatever means caused them to be serpents on the ground the rod and serpent of Moses and Aaron swallowed them up and destroyed them and surely this matter could not have been lost for its significance upon the Egyptians for if you will examine the pictures that are available of ancient sculptors from the ancient Egyptian dynasties you will see that the headdresses of the Pharaoh have prominently at the center of them a serpent that was a symbol of the might of the Egyptian empire who could withstand the bite of the cobra and so their leaders were thus decorated in their royal attire with a headdress of a serpent and when the magicians could at will produce serpents by some means that was the might of the people of Egypt but when Moses comes in with a rod that becomes a serpent and swallows them all the ominous suggestion of all of that could not have been missed upon the people of Egypt upon Pharaoh and his magicians and what we see in that preparatory work for the deliverance of the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage is an illustration of the deliverance that God will give to his people promised in Genesis 3.15 where the seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head and illustrated in the events of Exodus where the rod of God is able to consume all of the counterfeits of the false teachers and false leaders of Egypt and then we proceed further in the scripture to what I will call the serpent in the Edom bypass now I don't know that there was a bypass going around Edom but the people of Israel had to bypass it they could not go through Edom and so as they went around Edom without water they began complaining again against Moses because of the circumstances they are in and so I would direct you to Numbers chapter 21 in the 21st chapter of Numbers we have the appearance of the serpents again and once again we have a God-given triumph over those serpents Numbers 21 verse 4 and they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom and there they are going around Edom so we've got the serpent of Eden the serpent of Egypt and now for alliteration sake the bypass of Edom and the serpent that is there and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way and the people spake against God and against Moses wherefore have he brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness for there is no bread neither is there any water and our soul loathest this light bread and the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people and much people of Israel died therefore the people came to Moses and said we have sinned for we have spoken against the Lord and against thee pray unto the Lord that he may take away the serpents from us and Moses prayed for the people and the Lord said unto Moses make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole and it shall come to pass that everyone that is bitten when he looketh upon it shall live and Moses made a serpent of brass and put it upon a pole and came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man when he beheld the serpent of brass he lived. Now we have the people in the wilderness facing these venomous serpents various ideas has been suggested concerning the concept of the fiery serpent some suggesting the fiery agony and heat and fever of their bite others suggesting and perhaps more on target the coloration of these serpents a reddish copperish color and thus a copper or brazen serpent was to be beaten out by Moses to place upon a pole whatever it was the people were being bitten and many of them had already succumbed to the venom of these vipers what will they do there is no medical procedure to help them to be bitten is to be guaranteed of death and likely a miserable agonizing excruciating death at that the people are humbled they recognize through this that indeed they have sinned against God by their grumbling their ingratitude for the manner that he was giving them to eat and they come to Moses what can we do and Moses beseeches God and God instructs him to make this brazen serpent and he makes it and puts it on a pole and tells the people look look at the serpent strange cure we would say but sure it was for anyone who looked was healed when you go to the doctor with an illness it's unlikely he says well look at this and you'll be well but God who does exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think and whose ways are not our ways and thoughts are not our thoughts they are higher than ours as the heaven is higher than the earth gives them this brazen serpent because in fact their affliction though it be the venom coursing through their veins to their death is more than simply an affliction of this serpent's venom it is a venom of the serpent that had beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden it is the curse which came with his convincing her that the fruit forbidden was fruit to make her wise and so these people struggling beneath the curse of sin had made manifest yet again that curse by their ingratitude to God they're grumbling against Moses and against God as well but the serpent's bite sent by God as judgment sent by God to bring them to repentance had its effect of turning them and they looked to the brazen serpent Moses had made held aloft on that pole and looking they were healed. Doubtless many of them looked with difficulty some no doubt near death had to be carried by companions to the place where the serpent was that they might cast a glimpse at it but that's all it took a glimpse at the serpent some of them no doubt eyes bleared and blurred by the effect of the venom that was bringing them to the dust of death could barely see its form but they looked and they were healed for it was not the strength of their gaze that healed them it was the strength of the one who had provided the brazen serpent even God himself and whereas the serpents of this world that are filled with venom and death would have brought them to their end the God who promised that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head and the God who was manifest as the rod of God to swallow the serpents of Egypt's magicians was there to provide a remedy in a most unexpected manner and indeed the remedy our God provides is most unexpected for who among men could imagine that he would send his son to enter into this serpentine existence and be the sacrifice for the sins of his people and so the years pass the psalmist writes concerning this one thy rod and thy staff they comfort me it's the rod of God Christ is the comfort of his people the psalmist says the Lord shall send forth the rod of his strength out of Zion rule thou in the midst of thine enemies the prophet foretold that indeed there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and the branch shall grow out of his roots but with righteousness shall he judge the poor and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked well that day that Christ was teaching nightfall came and in the darkness of night a darkness I think none of us can imagine all of us have grown up in a context where there is light all around us day or night the idea of stepping out into a night that has nothing but starlight to illumine is something we rarely experience but it was the norm in that day and as Jesus was present in the night there came a man to talk with him Nicodemus was his name a Pharisee who wouldn't be seen with Jesus in daylight but knew there was something more here than merely a teacher for this one was a teacher sent from God this one had all of the marks of the rod of God we may say and it comes to Jesus and says we know that you're a teacher sent from God for no man can do these miracles that thou doest except God be with him and so just as the miracles of Moses given by God were the means by which his identity was confirmed as God's spokesman so the miracles Christ had done had convinced Nicodemus that he was more than merely a teacher of the Jews and as Jesus converses with Nicodemus he says are you a teacher in Israel and don't know these things that's a wonderful text to consider I preached from that text several months ago to the congregation in Maryland Nicodemus Nicodemus you should know these things these are things of God you see the new birth of which Jesus spoke to Nicodemus you must be born again is not something that suddenly came into being the moment Jesus said you must be born again being born again is the experience of every child of God from the first one who was ever converted in the Old Testament until the last one who will be converted before the end of time David had been born again Isaiah and Jeremiah all of the Old Testament heroes of faith they had been born again Nicodemus you're a master in Israel you teach the things of the Old Testament law and you don't know these things and as he continued with Nicodemus he said Nicodemus as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so shall the Son of Man be lifted up that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life just as any who looked at that serpent Moses had raised aloft did not perish but their life continued and they were delivered from the death that had been dealt them by the venomous serpent so any who would believe in Christ who would be lifted up in crucifixion would be delivered from the venomous curse of sin and all of its consequences and so Nicodemus is told the Son of Man must be lifted up as was the serpent by Moses in the wilderness and though many things Nicodemus did not know that he should have known yet he knew the identity of Son of Man he understood that this was a title for Messiah for the very revelation of God unto man this is the one man who is the fullness of the fullness of the fullness of manhood no man more complete than Jesus of Nazareth for he was a man such as God had created all men to be sinless and one in fellowship with the Father Nicodemus is told that's one the Son of Man Messiah must be lifted up as was the serpent in the wilderness and the imagery there I think was rather clear and Nicodemus would recognize when Christ is lifted up on the cross like the serpent lifted upon the pole he would then recognize exactly what Jesus was saying when he said the Son of Man must be lifted up as the serpent in the wilderness for Nicodemus recall appeared at the cross with Joseph of Arimathea that he and Joseph together might take the body of Jesus tenderly wrap it and embalm it and put it in its tomb this Pharisee who came by night to see the Lord Jesus out of fear of being discovered with him when it's all over is willing to stand with Christ in identity even in his crucifixion for he as a teacher of the Jews was as infected with the venom of sin and the curse from the devil the serpent as any man could be but when he looked to Christ crucified he was delivered just as the victim of the snake bites as they went around Edom was delivered by a glimpse at the brazen serpent the songwriter puts it this way if you from sin are longing to be free look to the Lamb of God he to redeem you died on Calvary look to the Lamb of God look to the Lamb of God for he alone is able to save you look to the Lamb of God to nothing else could the people of Israel bitten by the serpent in the wilderness look except the brazen serpent on the pole and to nothing else can mankind look for deliverance from his sin but Christ himself and so as Jesus came to the Jordan where John the Baptist was baptizing John who had been foretold by the prophets John whose role it was to introduce Messiah to those who he had come to save John seeing Jesus coming said behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world hear what he is saying behold look look look the Lamb of God is coming the Lamb the Lamb the one and only sacrificial lamb that can wash away sin he taketh away the sin of the world in other words live live live Christ comes with life behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world he is the one sent from heaven to enter into the effects of the curse made of a woman thus he would crush the serpent's head made under the law the curse of the law that he might redeem us who are under its curse as well and all of this comes together in the culmination of a savior hanging upon a cross and just as the people of the Old Testament were not saved by the clarity of the focus of their eyes blurred by the venom in their system so I am not saved by the perfection of my faith or by the quantity of my faith it is neither the quantity nor the quality of your faith that saves you it is the object of your faith unto which you look by faith look unto me and be saved all the ends of the earth for I am God and there is none other that is the one of whom Jesus spoke when he said to Nicodemus as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of Man be lifted up and throughout the history of God's people from the promise made in Genesis 3 15 of crushing the serpent's head through the consumption by his own rod turned serpent of Pharaoh's magician serpents through the deliverance from the effect of the fiery serpents in the wilderness clear to Calvary Christ delivers his people for he who knew no sin was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him do you know his saving mercy have you looked to Christ don't worry about the strength of your faith that is irrelevant don't worry about the quantity of your faith that is irrelevant as well I remember talking to an aged man when I was pastoring in Spartanburg we weren't sure if he knew the Lord or not and I said have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ do you have faith and he said not much and I think to myself that's okay because you don't get into heaven by the quantity of your faith in the slightest glimpse at Christ I will tell the sinner is what will save look not at the strength of your gaze you'll be lost look at the strength of the one upon whom you cast a feeble glance and he will save you and he'll give you more vision more sight as well let's bow together as we pray mighty God and loving father in heaven we thank you that when the fullness of the time was come God sent forth his son made of a woman made under the law to redeem them that were under the law that we might receive the adoption of sons we thank you for the cure for sins curse that is presented to us in the Word of God that is completed in the person of Christ who by type and picture and shadow portrayed his saving work in so many means throughout the scripture granted as we go to the word we might see our Savior that we might look upon him that we might behold the Lamb of God as he appears throughout bless our time together tonight to the good of your people to the glory of our worthy Savior we pray in Jesus name amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-04 14:52:30 / 2023-10-04 15:07:57 / 15

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