Good Friday

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When God created everything, He didn’t create it at it’s infancy stage. He created all things mature and perfect.
Among His amazing creations there is one that stands out more than all: Humans.
Genesis 1:26–28 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God created us in His image.
A reflection of who God is.
Mind, Body, and Spirit.
We were given purpose:
To have dominion over the fish, birds, livestock, and over all the earth and everything in it.
We were given an command:
Be fruitful and multiply while subduing the earth and all things in it.
Subdue means:
“To conquer by force or the exertion of superior power, and bring into permanent subjection; to reduce under dominion. Thus Cesar subdued the Gauls; Augustus subdued Egypt; the English subdued Canada. Subduing implies conquest or vanquishing, but it implies also more permanence of subjection to the conquering power, than either of these words.” - Noah Webster
We were created with superior power and authority over everything.
We were tasked with flexing our superiority over all the Earth.
We were expected to be fruitful and multiply.
God’s special creation we are.
There was another amazing thing:
Genesis 3:8 ESV
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
God had fellowship with man.
You can read how He interacted with His special creation all through chapter 2 and chapter 3.
I don’t think Adam and Eve quite understood the relationship that they had with God until they didn't have it anymore.
Genesis 3:23–24 ESV
therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
They were banished from the Garden, and ultimately from His presence.
Until Jesus came to this world Mankind wasn’t allowed into His presence.
The sin we chose separated us from being in fellowship with Him.
Thankfully God didn’t say that would last forever.
He actually promised the opposite: He gave us hope!
Each generation from Adam until Jesus arriving was reminded and encouraged by the hope for the promise of “God with us” to arrive (Emmanuel).
(?) Have you ever asked the question: Why?
Why did God immediately provide hope to Adam and Eve, and then continue reinforcing that promise all throughout the O.T.?
It was Love!
We can see God’s love towards us all throughout history.
It can be traced back and we can recognize it by
His provisions
His guidance
His protection
His mercy, etc...
There are many ways God expressed His love for us; but there is one that is more prominent than others.
His sacrifice.
The most well known passages that express His love and care by His sacrifice are in: John 3:14-21
Because it contains the most well known passage by the world John 3:16 we sometimes can pass off the idea or thought that we “know” this.
Many times we know that one passage; but can we confidently say we understand the context and what it teaches?
These are good questions to ask to help us gain a deeper understanding of God’s words to us.
In verses :14-15 John connects Jesus’ action on the cross to how Moses saved many Jews.
John 3:14–15 ESV
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
What did Moses save them from?
Numbers 21:4–9 ESV
From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 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 we loathe this worthless food.” Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And 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. 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.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
Moses saved them from themselves!
Here John is making:

The Comparison (14-15)

John 3:14 ESV
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
Why did Moses fashion a fiery serpent on a pole?
God told him to.
And He believed and did it. He obeyed God’s direction.
Why were people getting bitten by the serpents?
Numbers 21:5 ESV
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 we loathe this worthless food.”
The people spoke against God and Moses.
Psalm expresses more details to the situation:
Psalm 78:17–22 ESV
Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness? He struck the rock so that water gushed out and streams overflowed. Can he also give bread or provide meat for his people?” Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel, because they did not believe in God and did not trust his saving power.
God had lead the Israelites through so much up to this point and provided for all their needs, including food.
What were they eating?
Manna, from where? - Heaven!
It is easy for us to read these passages and think that they were ridiculous to even complain a little bit.
On a mission trip to Rawanda all we had to drink was bottles of water.
I was instructed by our trip planner that I should stop at Walmart and buy those little droppers that flavor your water bottle because you will get sick of water and want some flavor.
It kind of sounded silly to me at the time so I bought 2 of those little things.
I thought I would be bringing them back and returning them to Walmart because I didn’t use them.
It was about day 3 and I understood what he meant and grabbed one of my little flavor things.
We can assume what we would be doing in those moments as we read scripture; but until we are actually there we can’t assume anything.
When we read moments like these itw
He is comparing Moses’ lifting up of the fiery serpent on a pole to save the life of those who were bitten to Jesus’ being lifted up on a cross to save the soul of all who were bitten by sin.

The Reason (16-18)

The Impact (19-21)

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