Mothers for Prodigals

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Wonderful Cross

No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:13-16 (NKJV)
Did you know the Scripture verse above clearly tells us about the Savior of the world? He is Jesus Christ. It also explains how believers will be drawn to Him: through the cross. And, with one of the most beloved verses of the Bible, we are told how much God loves all of us as well as the consequences of our belief in His Son Jesus: eternal life. Thank you, Jesus! The Scripture also mentions Moses lifting up a serpent in the wilderness, but why?
After God miraculously rescued His people through the Red Sea, they grumbled about the food in the desert. So God provided manna (bread from heaven) for them, but they began to complain about eating it every day. They dreamed of the fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic they ate in Egypt. God then supplied meat for a month for His whining people by dropping quail from the sky. As time went on, the Israelites continued their moaning about food and the journey in the desert, speaking against God and Moses. Because of this sin, God sent fiery serpents that bit the people, killing many of them. The people repented of their sin and asked Moses to intercede with the Lord to remove the snakes. God’s reply follows:
And the Lord said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent [of bronze] and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze [attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze], he lived.  Numbers 21:8-9 (AMP)

God provided a way out for sinners in the desert with a serpent lifted up on a pole. Those looking with hope upon it lived. But Moses and the snake on a pole only temporarily fixed the problem of sin. God accomplished His plan of redemption for sinners through His Son Jesus Christ by lifting Him high upon a cross on a hill for all to see. Those hopefully gazing upon that cross and repenting of sin gain new life now and forever with Christ Jesus. 

Have you ever experienced a miracle yet grumbled later against God when life didn’t happen like you planned? Look to your Savior on the cross. Have you found yourself living life with no miracle from God and getting discouraged, complaining about your misfortune? Look to your Savior on the cross. Have you never known where to turn for hope in your life? Look to your Savior on the cross. Jesus died for the whole world, so look to your Savior on the cross and KNOW that He overcame death from His crucifixion and lives eternally. His victory paves a way for us to live with Him here on earth and forever in heaven.  Look to your Savior who is high and lifted up! Look to the cross and live!

...that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.  Philippians 3:10-11 (NKJV)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16 (NKJV)
After studying the two Scriptures above, George Bennard wrote the hymn “The Old Rugged Cross.” As you read or sing this song, may his discovery about the amazing work of Christ’s cross help you on your journey with our Lord. 
“The Old Rugged Cross”

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above to bear it to dark Calvary.
In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see;
For 'twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died to pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true, its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He'll call me some day to my home far away, where His glory forever I'll share.
So I'll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.

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