Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Freight. What a funny thing. Of itself, it just sits there on the warehouse floor, going no place. Simple truth, freight won’t move itself. You can sit there all day watching, and just like a gun can not kill somebody of its own volition, freight just won’t move. There is only one way in which freight will move. You must lift it up off of the floor. That is the only way that the freight is going to go anywhere.
In the book of Numbers 21, the children of Israel were quarrelling, again, with Moses. The complaint was that there was no food or water, and they despised the food which God had provided. As punishment, God sent serpents into the camp to bite the people, causing many to die. Then God commanded Moses to fashion a serpent of bronze and lift it up upon a pole. God promised that if anyone was bitten by a serpent and they looked up at the bronze serpent, they would life. Given that there was no anti-venom or any of our modern medical wonders back then, this was the only way they could be saved.
It is in like manner, in the Gospel of John, that Jesus spoke with Nicodemus. Jesus plainly told Nicodemus that just as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent, so too must the Son of God be lifted up. This was the only way in which sinful humanity could be reconciled to God. Jesus was going to have to allow himself to be lifted up and hung upon a cross. There was no other way. Two thousand years later, that still hasn’t change. The cross of Christ is the only atonement for our sins.
It seems rather odd. When it comes to our sinful nature, all of us are helpless. There is nothing we can do. Just like freight sitting on the floor, which can not load itself, neither can we save ourselves by our actions. I have never seen a piece of freight that can load itself. Even a car, forklift, or tractor, still needs a human operator to pilot the vehicle into the trailer. Likewise, we can not of our own selves attain a point of righteousness with God whereby we can enter into Paradise. Only the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus can bring us before the throne of God and into Paradise where we can walk with him.
Freight simply can not load itself. It must be lifted up. Likewise, to save humanity from its sin, the Son of God needed to be lifted up on the cross. There was and is no other way. It was true two thousand years ago and is still true today. Indeed, there are many who claim otherwise, but none of them was the sinless Son of God. He is the only one who can truly tell us how sinful we are and only he can take our sin upon himself, which he did upon that cross. Just as he was lifted up and nailed upon the cross, so too were our sins lifted up and nailed forever to the cross. Just as he said, “It is finished”.
Jesus was lifted up and crucified so that you and I could have everlasting life in Paradise. In the book of Acts, the second chapter, Peter told the people of Israel that Jesus, whom they crucified, was the Messiah. They were cut to the heart and asked what they must do to be saved. Peter gave them the only answer. Repent and be baptized. This promise is still true today for you, your spouse, and your children, and all who will hear and receive the message of salvation. Jesus lifted your sins and mine up with him on the cross. Let him lift you up and present you before the Father as his own. Even as Peter told the Israelites, so too I say, repent and be baptized.