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What Did They See – Week 14 / April 2nd
“These all died in faith, not having received the
promises, but having seen them afar off were
assured of them, embraced them and confessed
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the
Hebrews 11:13 (NKJV)
The ageless struggle between the serpent and humankind:
“And I will put enmity between you and the women, and between
your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall
bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15 NKJV)
Our misguided choices beginning with our first two parents have ignited this age-old conflict. That is, we give way, just as Adam did, to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the boastful pride of life. (1John 2:16) Christians must learn to overcome their cravings, desire for things and longing for importance! These are the three things that Jesus overcame in the wilderness temptations. He used the Word of God as His shield and defense against them! (Matthew 4:1-11) Though we have the “seed of Jesus’ (1John 3:9) living in us we are still subject to a residue of wickedness that can trap us. This trap is always in one of the areas mentioned above. As someone once put it; Christians still get caught by gold, glory and girls!
Substitutionary sacrifice or One dying in the place of another!
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it
and was glad.” (John 8:56 NKJV)
It dawned on him 4000 years before Christ that Humankind needed One who could buy it back from the place of death and destruction. This truth filled his heart with great joy. The cross was thus transformed from an instrument of terrible crucifixion to a “thing” of great wonder and joy!
A pure, spotless Lamb, giving up its life to free us from death. This would give our lives a new beginning! Notice the wording of Exodus 12:3-5; at first they take “a Lamb”, then it becomes “the Lamb” and finally “your Lamb!” How wonderful it is to make Jesus your own.
“Speak to all the congregation of Israel saying; “On the tenth of
this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according
to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the
household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor
next to his house take it according to the number of the persons;
according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the
lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish………..”
A tree hurled into the bitterness of life!
“So, he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When
He cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet………..”
(Exodus 15: 25 NKJV)
If one really embraces the cross with complete surrender it will transform the bitterness of life into something very sweet and blessed.
A serpent nailed to bronze staff.
The cross disarms the devil and breaks him free from our lives. (Hebrews 2:14) The serpent can no longer destroy your life and defeat you. To be free from his venom you must gaze upon the cross!
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so
must the Son of Man be lifted up.” (John 3:14 NKJV)
The darkness of death and hell closing in on the Son of God as He died on the cross:
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
“Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of
Basham have encircled Me.”
“My strength is dried up like a potsherd and my tongue
clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of
death. For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation
of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands
and My feet.”
(Psalm 22:1; 12; 15-16 NKJV)
It is worth noting that hell is a real place where those who end up there are forever separated from God, tormented in flames and left forever in utter darkness and loneliness. They are also preyed upon by worms that never leave them. (Mark 9:42-44) No one should go there because it was not made for humankind and Jesus conquered death on the cross. (Revelation 14:10; Revelation 20:15; Matthew 22:13-14; Matthew 25:41)
A report about Messiah that was to be mostly rejected because Israel could not believe that from death and apparent defeat would emerge great victory. Jesus’ death saves us from the wrath of God!
“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of
the Lord been revealed.”
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet
we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised
for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon
Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have
gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and
the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah53:1; 4-6)
Our sins not only separate us from God but they also bring down upon us the wrath of God. Jesus endured our wrath and freed us completely from the Divine retribution that sin deserves! We are free; yes free indeed and reconciled to God. Those who do not believe will abide under the wrath of God! (John 3:36)
The joy that would be His when, by His death, He gains a family with whom He can live for all eternity!
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith
Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the
cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right
hand of the throne of God.”
(Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)
The truth is: You are Jesus’ chief Joy! His greatest delight will be to take you to a mansion that He is building for you and where you can dwell with Him for all eternity! (John 14:1-3 NKJV)
©Malcolm Hedding Ministries