Passing over the Passover?

October 5, 2018 at 9:28 am | Posted in Q&A | Leave a comment
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Question: It looks like the Jewish people didn’t observe the Passover any more after leaving Egypt. Why not?

Answer: I believe they did observe the Passover the very next year, but it is not clear whether they kept doing it during the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. Remember, they lived mainly on manna (and later quail) during that time. Joshua 5:5-15 seems to indicate that they did not celebrate it again until they entered the promised land, but the Bible doesn’t specifically state for sure whether they did or not.

Snakes on a Plain (Part 2)

October 12, 2012 at 9:25 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Snakes on a Plain: Snakes Produce Paranoia

Snakes Among the People

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

Numbers 21:6 (emphasis added)

These snakes were the result of the people’s sin. The Israelites didn’t want God’s way, and they didn’t want God’s Word.

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.

Numbers 21:4-5 (emphasis added)

They showed their contempt for the manna God provided by calling it “this light bread.” I grew up drinking Kool-Aid. Good old-fashioned green Kool-Aid with lots of sugar in it. My wife prefers Crystal Light. When she makes Crystal Light I say that “my soul loatheth this light Kool-Aid.” But the fact is, for God’s people in the wilderness, the manna was exactly what they needed – especially for traveling. They were remembering the heavy, spicy food they had gotten used to in Egypt, but were forgetting their bondage. Isn’t that what happens when God’s Word doesn’t suit our taste? When God’s way isn’t comfortable enough? We begin to grumble and complain and dispute – and the snakes of sin are released among the people.

Snakes Among the People: Snakes Produce Poison

These were fiery serpents. They were poisonous. Sin is like a poisonous snake. Everything is fine and fun, until you find one hiding where you least expect it. Satan chose the form of a serpent in the Garden of Eden because the serpent is subtle. It’s sneaky. It knows how to hide and wait, and how to ambush. Then the poison goes in its prey, and it affects the body and the mind.

https://i1.wp.com/www.christiananswersforthenewage.org/images/Articles_PotterChamber.jpg

The venom of most poisonous snakes attacks the central nervous system. It causes the brain to stop telling the heart to beat. It’s the same with sin. That old wood pile looks fun – like a good place to play. That stand of trees with trails and streams looks inviting – but it’s outside our boundaries.

Sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay
It will cost you more than you wanted to pay
It will teach you more than you wanted to know
And it will take you farther than you ever wanted to go

The first day of sin is the best day of sin. It’s all downhill after that. Trouble is easy to get into, but hard to get out of. The poisonous venom of the snakes among the people – these “snakes on a plain” – was deadly venom. There was no antivenin. It’s the same with sin.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:12

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:23

There is a payment due for sin, and the payment is death.

So the people went to Moses and said, “We’ve got snakes on a plain, snakes among the people – what can we do!”

Moses prayed to God…

…and he prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

Numbers 21:7-8

God said the remedy – the only remedy – for snakes on a plain, for snakes among the people is…

The Snake on a Pole – which we will look at next time.

The Bookends of Faith (Part 2)

December 8, 2010 at 11:07 am | Posted in The Bookends of Faith | 7 Comments
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The Bookends of Faith in the Deity of Jesus Christ: The first and last of the seven “I AM” statements in the Book of John

Last time, we looked at the seven “I AM” statements of Jesus in the Book of John. We saw the comparisons between the manna which came down from Heaven in the Old Testament and Jesus, the Bread of Life which came down from Heaven, in the New Testament.

Here is one of the most amazing truths in all of Scripture:

Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

John 6:49-50

Moses and all the manna-eaters eventually died and are still dead. Those who partake of the Bread of Life will live forever, reign forever, and enjoy unspeakable beauty and joy of fellowship with Christ for all eternity. What is your response to the proclamation that Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life? Would you deny what it proves? That’s what the Jewish religious leaders did. Do you believe that the Bread of Life is good and nourishing and sustaining, but not life-giving? Do you deny that Jesus was and is God? Do you deny that He has not and will not and can not lie? I hope you don’t deny what the “I AM” proved.

However, we still need to ask ourselves, are we grateful only for what it provided?

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

John 6:34

Are you grateful for what Jesus can do for you – more so than you are grateful for Who He is? Is this your prayer: “Jesus, make my life easier, make me well-favored with men, bless me coming in, going out, use me to make me something that will be impressive to other people?” Have you watched too much religious television, or attended too many “revival” services? Have you read too many best-selling “Christian” books? If Christ Jesus has saved your soul, must He now balance your checkbook? Heal every ache and pain in your body? Restore every broken relationship between you and your neighbors and your friends and your family? We are often guilty of thinking of Jesus as our genie in a bottle – we whip Him out whenever we have a problem. Too many professing Christians consider Christ only to be their “ticket to Heaven.” I don’t like that analogy because you don’t do much with a ticket. You keep it tucked away somewhere unseen until it’s time to enter the show, then it’s turned in and discarded.

In John Chapter 6 people were asking Jesus, “What can You do for me?” What they should have been asking – and what we should be asking – is, “What would You have me to do for You?”

Next time, we will examine Jesus’s proclamation that, “I AM the True Vine.”

The Bookends of Faith (Part 1)

November 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Exodus, The Bookends of Faith | 22 Comments
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The Bookends of Faith in the Deity of Jesus Christ: The first and last of the seven “I AM” statements in the Book of John

Here are the seven “I AM” statements in the Book of John:

1. I AM the Bread of Life (6:35)

2. I AM the Light of the World (8:12)

3. I AM the Door (10:9)

4. I AM the Good Shepherd (10:11)

5. I AM the Resurrection, and the Life (11:25)

6. I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6)

7. I AM the True Vine (15:1)

I AM the Bread of Life and I AM the True Vine: these two principles are the “bookends of faith” in the deity of Christ.

For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

John 6:38

The Bread of Life came down from Heaven. Only God could come down from Heaven.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15:4

The True Vine provides life to the branches, and, because the branches are “in” the Vine, they are secure. Only God can give and preserve life.

The two words that John 6:35 and 15:1 have in common are “I AM.”

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Exodus 3:13-14

God told Moses, “I AM THAT I AM.” God is unexplainable. God is unending (eternal and infinite – unending and unbeginning). God is uncommon (truly unique). In John Chapter 6 Jesus had performed a miracle. He had made five loaves into enough bread to feed a whole multitude. Many were grateful for this miracle, but few were grateful because of what it taught or what it pronounced: It pronounced that Jesus was God.

Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

John 6:26

Most were grateful because of what it provided.

The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

John 6:41-42

Jewish rabbis taught that the Messiah would duplicate the miracle of the manna, but Jesus didn’t call down bread from Heaven – He was the Bread from Heaven. The manna was a type and Christ was the reality, but like every “type” that Christ fulfilled, He not only fulfilled it, He also turned out to be a “better-than” the type.

Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

John 6:49

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 6:51

How Jesus was like the manna:

1. The manna was a mystery. It’s name meant “what is it.”

And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

Exodus 16:15

Jesus seemed mysterious to those who saw Him.

But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

John 6:36

2. The manna came when it was dark.

And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.

Exodus 16:21

Jesus came into a (spiritually) dark world.

3. The manna was small and round.

And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

Exodus 16:14

Jesus was not physically significant or socially “important.” Like a round object, which has no beginning and no end, Jesus, being God, is eternal.

4. The manna was white and sweet.

And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Exodus 16:31

White represents purity and sinlessness – Jesus was pure inside and out. Although the manna was sweet, Jesus is even sweeter.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

Psalm 34:8

5. Manna was given to a rebellious people.

And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

Exodus 16:3

Jesus came to seek and save rebellious sinners.

The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

John 6:41

6. The manna had to be either picked up (received) or trampled.

Jesus must be received or rejected (despised.) Make no mistake, when you reject Christ, you are doing far worse than stepping on Him.

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:3

Jesus was treated as utterly vile and was completely forsaken by men. He experienced the kinds of feelings associated with rejection that make you physically sick.

7. Manna sustained life. Jesus gave life – eternal life.

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:35

Next time, we will ask, “Are you more grateful for what the I AM proves or for what it provides?”


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