40 Days to Jerusalem
The New Exodus Begins ‚Äì Day 24
Weekly Theme: Through the Wilderness
Today‚Äôs Meditation:Lifting Up a Savior
Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.‚Äù 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:31-33)
Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him‚Ä¶When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‚ÄúWoman, here is your son,‚Äù 27 and to the disciple, ‚ÄúHere is your mother.‚Äù From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:17-18a, 26-27)
A man and his wife stood near a tree. Suddenly a serpent appeared to them. He tempted them to break the one commandment God had given them. The woman first, and then the man fell prey to Satan‚Äôs evil enticement. Adam committed a sin of commission by eating from the tree he was commanded not to eat. But, he also committed a sin of omission by not doing what God had required of him. He was instructed to work and protect the garden (Genesis 2:15). Adam stood at the tree and watched Eve fall into sin and death. He failed to protect his bride from the serpent. What a horrific moment in time! Not only did Adam and Eve die spiritually, but all of humanity died spiritually as well. Paul wrote, ‚ÄúFor as in Adam all die‚Äù (1 Corinthians 15:22). The man at the tree failed to save his bride!
From the very beginning, a showdown was prophesied and inevitable. After Adam and Eve succumbed to the snake‚Äôs seduction, ignoring God‚Äôs one prohibition, God spoke to the ‚Äúwoman‚Äù and the ‚Äúserpent.‚Äù Genesis 3:15 records these prophetic Words of the Lord as He offers the first reference to the Gospel in the Scriptures. God says to Satan, ‚ÄúI will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.‚Äù This primal picture of the Gospel offers faint glimpses of the ultimate face-off of good and evil. In that garden scene, God speaks prophetically of hostility that will exist between the seed of the woman and Satan. Her seed will somehow crush Satan‚Äôs head. This would be nothing less than a death blow. While Satan will strike at the seed of the woman, but only manage to wound his heal. One day, this showdown between right and wrong, good and evil, holiness and wickedness, and heaven and hell would come to pass.
John 19 records the fulfillment of the prophecy offered in Genesis 3:15. We are told that Jesus, accompanied by the soldiers, carried His cross to Golgotha, the place of the skull. It was there that they nailed him to that old rugged cross. Jesus, the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) was there at the tree. And what was the ‚ÄúGod-man‚Äù accomplishing there? He was stepping in to protect and save His bride!
Notice that the same ‚Äúcharacters‚Äù who stood at the tree in Genesis 3:15 are present at Calvary‚Äôs tree: the woman, her seed and the serpent. As Jesus looked down from the cross, He said, ‚ÄúWoman, behold your son.‚Äù In that ‚Äúhour‚Äù, though Jesus‚Äô heal was bruised, and though His death made it appear as if Satan had won, it was actually Jesus who was winning a decisive victory. For, even though He died on that cross, three days later, Jesus would be gloriously raised from the dead! Satan, that serpent of old and arch enemy of God, was dealt a death blow from which he would never recover. What God predicted from the beginning had come to pass, just as He said.
The irony of this scene is hard to miss. Jesus said, ‚ÄúAs Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up.‚Äù As Jesus was raised up on the tree, the One who knew no sin, became sin for us! Jesus really did resemble the bronze snake. In the very moment that Jesus defeated Satan, the wily old serpent must have looked at Jesus and thought, I have made Him into what I am! I have finally become greater than God and defeated the divine! What Satan failed to realize was that Jesus was destroying death by dying. He was conquering sin, by taking all of man‚Äôs sin upon Himself. And, He was crushing Satan‚Äôs head by wearing a crown of thorns on His own.
Though Adam stood at the tree and failed to save his bride‚Ä¶though Adam brought the curse of sin upon the entire human race‚Ä¶though Adam‚Äôs sin meant death for us all, because the wages of sin is death‚Ä¶it was the second Adam, Jesus Himself, who went to the tree and saved His bride, who reversed the curse of sin, and brought life to those who deserve death. What an epic moment in time! 1 Corinthians 15:22 says, ‚ÄúAs in Adam all die, but in Christ shall all be made alive.‚Äù
Jesus said, ‚Äú‚Ä¶when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.‚Äù By going to the cross, Jesus opens the life gate that all may go in! And we who are drawn to Him are the bride He died to save.
Prayer for Today
Praise God for His plan to send the groom to protect His bride
Give thanks to Jesus for His willingness to die so that we might be saved
Pray that the Holy Spirit might reveal any unconfessed sin
Repent, confess and ask the Lord for forgiveness
Receive His forgiveness
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you lift up Jesus through your witness and words ‚Äì so that others might be drawn to Him
Jesus said, ‚ÄúWhen you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.‚Äù 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.(John 8:28-30)