Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Cure For You Which Saves Your Eternal Life!

The other day a fellow chatter on Facebook objected strongly about my having a Crucifix on my profile picture on Facebook. He cited the second command from God:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(Exodus 20:4-6 ESV)

This certainly is a clear warning regarding any type of representation of God and his work being made by man. Continuing in the command we see that it is the bowing down and worshiping this image, statue, picture or other item which is prohibited. Not the display or possession of such an article.

Here we see Our Lord making use of an article to save the life of his wayward Israel:
And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”
(Numbers 21:8 ESV)

Here is Our Lord directing the man through which he gave his commandments to  erect a pole with the representation of a serpent on it. This was to counteract the venomous bite of the serpents. Obviously from this instance and all the instructions regarding the Temple furnishings Our Lord has no problems with having an image concerning his work. 

Compare this to the Lamb of God on the cross who located himself there to cure the bite of a different serpent. It is indeed comparing the lesser to the greater. The serpent was to save temporal life. The creature used by our Adversary to rob us of eternal life. Which is loathsome to look at by many people. Whom we willingly believed rather than Our Lord. 

Compare this serpent  with the Lamb who saves our eternal life. He never has anything but the best intentions for us. He is still cast aside as a loathsome person for he dared to forgive miserable sinners. Quite a shot to the head of pride. But oh what wondrous love is this?

What has all this to do with a crucifix:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Burdens removed from you!

I heard a minister once describe being unable to release the guilt from previous and confessed sin as unbelief and one is still carrying the guilt for them like a burden. The above quote from Augustus Toplady, although sounding very pious, hints at doing just that.

This is not at all the Christian message.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(1 John 1:9 ESV)

The passage written by John is the Christian message. Away with the notion that one is more holy by mulling over past sins. They are holy only because of the innocent sufferings and death of Our Lord Jesus. Faith in him is what justifies us before our Holy Father in Heaven. 

Today we are still justified sinners. Today we will face temptations and falling short. One gets all wrapped up on last year's sins care is not taken for today. Are the sins too great for Our Crucified Lord to cover? If they are, and we must bear them, we have no hope for today.

"My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! 
My sin, not in part but the whole, 
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, 
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!"*

You are Baptized into Christ. You are redeemed and forgiven!
Trust this good news and live in its peace. Amen. †

*It Is Well With My Soul
Horatio G. Spafford, 1873