The Bronze Snake
After giving the Israelites the Ten Commandments, God led Moses and the Israelites to the hill country of the Amorites and told them to occupy the land He promised to them. Because they were afraid, the Israelites refused to take the land and they tried to choose another leader to take them back to Egypt!
God wanted to destroy these unbelieving people, but Moses asked God to pardon the wickedness of these people saying, "If you slay these people, the nations who have heard how you brought them out of Egypt and remained in their midst will say, 'The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he swore to give them; that is why He slaughtered them in the desert.'"
God pardoned the people, but He told Moses to lead these unbelieving people back into the desert until the new generation of people were ready to take the promised land that their ancestors refused to take! They wandered forty years and encountered much resistance from the nations surrounding them. They did battle and God protected them, but they constantly complained against God and Moses.
Then one day, the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people and many Israelites were bitten and died. The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Forgive us and pray to the Lord to take these snakes away." So Moses prayed for the people.
Then the Lord told Moses to make a metal snake and put it on a pole, so that anyone who was bitten could look at it and be healed. So Moses made a bronze snake and put it on a pole and anyone who had been bitten would look at the bronze snake and be healed.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Even though the Israelites constantly saw the miracles that God performed, their hearts remained unchanged. God referred to them as "unbelieving" and that is what they were, yet God provided them "an escape from death" by looking at a metal snake on a pole! This may have looked like nonsense to those who did not get bitten, but those who were dying from the snake bite experienced God's power by believing.
Jesus said this to Nicodemus after he told him he must be born again to see the Kingdom of God,
"As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life."
God's Promise To Send A Prophet
Moses told the Israelites as they were about to take the promised land, "In the land you are about to occupy, people follow the advice of fortune tellers and look for omens, but the Lord your God does not allow you to do this. Instead, he will send you a prophet like me from among your own people, and you are to obey him.
On the day that you were gathered at Mount Sinai, you heard the Lord speak and saw his fiery presence and you were afraid you would die. You begged not to see or hear him again. So the Lord said to me, 'They have made a wise request. I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command. He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him.'"
The Meeting On The Mountain ( Jesus, Moses, and Elijah )
Some 1400 years later, Jesus takes three disciples, Peter, John, and James, up a mountain to pray. While they are there, the appearance of the face of Jesus changes and his clothes become dazzling white. There appears with him Moses and Elijah, talking about the events that are about to take place in Jerusalem concerning Jesus' death.
The disciples are amazed, and as they are discussing what they see, a cloud appears and they are afraid as it comes over them. A voice from the cloud says, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen -- listen to him!" The disciples are so terrified when they hear the voice, they throw themselves face down on the ground. Jesus comes up to them and touches them saying, "Don't be afraid!" So they look up and see no one there but Jesus. Then he tells the disciples not to say anything to anyone about this until the Son of Man has risen from death.
The disciples obey Jesus order and they ask why the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first before the Messiah. Jesus answered, "Elijah has already come and people did not recognize him, but they put him to death. In the same way they will also mistreat the Son of Man." Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist who was killed by Herod.
More Quotes By Jesus About The Cross
Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; A man's worst enemies will be the members of his own family.
Whoever loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; whoever loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up his cross and follow in my steps is not worthy of me.
Whoever tries to gain his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will gain it. If you try to preserve your life by following the ways of the world, everything you have gained will perish when you die; but if you give up the great plan you have for your life and follow me, you will gain all the real treasure that everlasting life has to offer." ( Matthew, Chapter 10, Verses 34-39 / Luke, Chapter 14, Verses 26-27 )
Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget himself, carry his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." ( Matthew, Chapter 16, Verses 24-25 / Mark, Chapter 8, Verses 34-35 / Luke, Chapter 9, Verses 23-24 )
The Foolishness Of The Cross ( by Paul the Apostle )
Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church, "For the message about Christ's death on the cross is nonsense to those who are being lost; but for us who are being saved it is God's power. The scripture says,
and set aside the understanding of the scholars."
So then, where does that leave the wise? or the scholars? or the skillful debaters of this world? God has shown that this world's wisdom is foolishness!
For God in his wisdom made it impossible for people to know him by means of their own wisdom. Instead, by means of the so-called "foolish" message we preach, God decided to save those who believe.
Jews want miracles for proof, and Greeks look for wisdom. As for us, we proclaim the crucified Christ, a message that is offensive to the Jews and nonsense to the Gentiles; but for those whom God has called, both Jews and Gentiles, this message is Christ, who is the power of God and the wisdom of God. For what seems to be God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and what seems to be God's weakness is stronger than human strength."
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January Lazarus And The Rich Man ("about death & believing")
February The Greatest Commandment ("about love")
March The Lost Sheep & The Lost Son ("rejoicing for who has given up their life of sin")
April The Meaning Of Easter - Three Examples From Jesus
May The Worry Of Daily Life
June The Ten Lepers
July The Good Samaritan
August How To Give and How To Pray
September The Un-believing Towns
October Signs Revealing Christ's Return To Earth
November     The Last Supper
December Why We Should Celebrate Christmas
January The Things That Make A Person Unclean
February Marriage, Adultery, and Divorce
March Jesus Chooses The Apostles
April The Coming Persecutions For The Believers
May Jesus Feeds 5000 Men, ( not counting the women and children ) ( part 1 )
June Jesus Walks On The Water ( part 2 )
July The Bread Of Life ( part 3 )
September Jonah And The Whale
October Jesus And The Devil ( Satan )
November Jesus And The Sabbath ( The Day Of Rest )
December The Christmas Story ( The Birth Of Jesus )
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