“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,” ~John 3:14
If you have read a few of my posts during this Lenten journey I’m sure you’ve noticed that the music videos I have posted are different than my usual contemporary songs. I love old hymns as much as the new contemporary songs. Thank you for your support of this blog and my hope is that you strengthen your relationship with God or you meet God and decide to follow Him.
If you have the pamphlet I am loosely using for this format, “The Sanctuary For Lent 2018 by Katie Z.Sawson” today’s text is filled with a lot of information/examples that to be honest is a little overwhelming. In case you don’t have the pamphlet the author gives examples of the movie “The Matrix” specifically the character “Neo” along with the movie plot of the world being a constructed reality and humanity is plugged into a vast network and being used as batteries. *Video posted below under references. She also mentions “Nicodemus” speaking with Jesus in the cover of night. ”Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” ~John 3:1-2. Our verse for today comes later in the same chapter of John in verse 14; Jesus reminds Nicodemus of the Israelites when they were in the wilderness and how God dealt with their sinfulness as they spoke against God and Moses, *(Numbers 21) God sent poisonous snakes and many died and brought many to their knees in confession. The Israelites had not let go of their old lives that they had in Egypt when they were slaves to Pharaoh, God had a wonderful plan for them they just could not see it. God used the snakes as punishment and for healing because after the Israelites repented God did not remove the snakes, He made a way for them to be healed when bitten. “Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 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 a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” ~Numbers 21:6-9. The snakes were seen as a sign of healing.
This past week has been reading about the wilderness (ours and the Israelites) and divine testing. We have read about the devil tempting Jesus in the wilderness; the Israelites demanding God to act when they are complaining about eating the same food day after day, they were bored and tired of the same ole same ole and tested the Lord. We looked at our own lives and our actions of testing God. We looked about Jonah being defiant about going to Nineveh as God had commanded, he eventually went to Nineveh, probably smelling “fishy” but he did do as God had commanded. We also read about the Jewish leaders at the temple trying to test Jesus asking him “The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” ~John 2:18.
Believe it or not there is a common theme in all these stories and it is about accepting Jesus and obeying what He commands. No finger pointing, we are all guilty maybe some more than others but sin is sin…no hierarchy. The Bible tells us, “Do not test the Lord your God!”
When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we are new and we are to put our old self away. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” ~2 Corinthians 5:17.
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” ~Ephesians 4:22-24.
As this week comes to a close on the study of “The Wilderness and Divine Testing” I am reminded of Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, we are to lift Jesus up; His crucifixion, His resurrection and His ascension. We can discover the power and strength to live a new life in God. I have learned this week that “testing” and “trusting” are very powerful action words and the importance using them appropriately. I have also reaffirmed that life is hard sometimes, I also know that I am never alone. Jesus is always with me. Asking for forgiveness is not easy, if it were more people would be doing it. It’s hurts and is very painful to admit our faults. It’s uncomfortable and yet the feeling of releasing the vile truths about ourselves is so very healing. Peace and strength and yes forgiveness can all be found in Jesus when we humble ourselves and seek forgiveness and repent of our sins. My prayer is that you experience God in your life today.
How does experiencing Jesus lifted up help you to live a new life?
Breath Prayer: Jesus, open my eyes. Jesus help me see you lifted up! ~Amen
~Blessings and Peace~