Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lifted Up: The Type of Death He Would Die – Part 2

Jesus not only talked about the specific type of death he would die—that he would be crucified—he also talked about being "lifted up." This would imply death on a cross, but it was more than that.

Jesus was talking to Nicodemus in John 3, and he was referring to a story in the Old Testament with Moses in Numbers 21:4-9.

After Moses led the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt in about 1446 B.C., the people often complained about God and His provision for them, including the miraculous food God provided for them every morning they called "manna."

In this story,
"...they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, 'Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food! 
"Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died" (Number 21:5-6, NIV 1984).

The people then came to Moses, admitted their sin (which always leads to death), and asked Moses to pray that God would take the snakes away from them. In other words they repented and asked for forgiveness (which always results in forgiveness from God).

So Moses prayed. And God told him,

" '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 a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he [or she] lived," (Number 21:8-9, NIV 1984).

Do you think that sounds crazy? Simply look at a bronze snake lifted up on a pole and you’ll live? You won’t die when you’re bit by a poisonous snake? (Tweet that!)

Yeah, well, it's every bit as crazy as looking up to a Man hanging on a cross to save you from the poison of sin and certain death. (Tweet that!) But anyone who looks to Him—that is Jesus—lives.

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

" '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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him,' " (John 3:14-17, NIV 1984).

When have you looked to Jesus for your salvation? (Tweet that!)

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