Weekly Devotional 3-12-18 The Cross in Mind
In Revelation 13:8 we read; “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The “him” of this passage (chapter 13) is referring to the Antichrist. Who, during the tribulation, will acclaim himself to be God and demand the worship of all man-kind. Verse 18 also informs us that the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) was slain from the foundation of the world. That is, in the mind of God it was conceived and planned that the Lamb of God would be slain before God created the world. The carrying out of this plan occurred around A.D. 33 when Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was slain on the cross of Calvary. Adam and Eve (the first humans) and Satan were appraised of this when God cursed them because of the sin Adam brought into the world (See Genesis 3:14-19). As God cursed Satan He said, “I will put enmity [strife] between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” God told Satan that even though he would wound the seed of the woman, the seed who is Jesus, would destroy him.
Although Satan’s ultimate destruction would not take place until the end of the world, its commencement began when God raised Jesus the Lamb of God from the dead after having been crucified. At that time Satan’s doom was sealed.
To testify of this event during the Old Testament years, God chose a certain nation, the Hebrew nation. He initiated and formed that nation through Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob (Israel). To this nation God gave laws, ceremonies, a sacrificial system, and a priesthood. All of which, in their own right, pointed to the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) and His sacrifice (Revelation 13:8).
I believe one of the most powerful testimonies of His sacrifice is found in the Passover of Exodus 12:1-7….12-13.
“1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 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. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it…. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord. 13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
I believe this Passover perfectly pictures the sacrifice of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) on the cross of Calvary. The Lamb of Exodus was to be an unblemished Lamb—Jesus was un-blemished, that is, He was without sin. The painting of each door post and the top of the door formed a cross.
Blood on one door post, or on the top of the door would have been a sufficient alert to the death angel not to harm those within the dwelling, but God commanded otherwise. God is precise in all that He does and has reason for everything that He does. The detailed instruction for the construction of the tabernacle and the temple is testimony of this truth. Also, the positioning of the furnishings of the tabernacle and the temple point to His preciseness. The order and strictness of the Levitical priesthood, the strict adherence to the various ceremonies and feasts all point to God’s precise determination. Did God then not have in mind the cross of Jesus when He commanded that blood be applied to each doorpost and the top of the door?
Another such picture of the cross is found in God’s instructions to Moses concerning those who were bitten by poisonous serpents. We read in Numbers 21:1-9;
“1 The king of Arad, the Canaanite, who dwelt in the South, heard that Israel was coming on the road to Atharim, then he fought against Israel and took some of them prisoners. 2 So Israel made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.’ 3 And the Lord listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of that place was called Hormah.
4 Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the Way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread.’ 6 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. 8 Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.’ 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
Did God have in mind the cross of Jesus when He commanded Moses to lift up the bronze serpent as His means of saving those bitten? Yes, He did, for we read from the Gospel of John;
“14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:14-18).
Whatever God has done in the past, what He is now doing and what He will do in the future, He has in mind the cross of Jesus as He glorifies Him in man’s salvation.
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
All Scriptures references are from the NKJB