FROM THE PREACHER'S LENSES
|Saturday, April 1, 2023|
God had played some dramas or scripts at one time or the other after the fall of our fore parents, which indicated how He was to reconcile us with Himself and escape hell.
Man sinned and the penalty is death. The only way to avert the death, I mean "hell" is if there is someone, who is prepared to take the punishment in our place i. e die in our place.
And the only acceptable blood that can accomplish this job will be a clean blood. But all men are sinners, so no man is qualified for the job and if the blood of no man is qualified for the job, how can the blood of an animal be qualified or when did any Doctor transfuse animal blood for a patient who needs blood?
So, God right from the beginning had purposed that He was going to use the blood of His only Begotten Son, Jesus, who is blameless to pay the penalty for our sins. What a depth of love God has for us!!
We shall today look at only some six incidents, which happened over the years, which were shadows, foretastes, pointers to how Jesus would work out our salvation, so that we will not go to hell.
So the topic of my sermon today is "Certain Foretastes, Shadows, Pointers etc that Revealed how God was to perfect the Salvation of Man with the Blood of Jesus (Summary).
Meanwhile let Prof. Dn. Kayode Samuel lead us in prayers
Certain Foretastes, Shadows, Pointers etc that Revealed how God was to perfect the Salvation of Man with the Blood of Jesus (Summary).
Pointer 1. The record of any sacrifice made to God, which we read about, was the one made by the first set of children; Cain and Abel. That of Abel, which he made with blood was acceptable to God while that of Cain, made with farm produce was not favored (Gen. 4:4-5)
From here we notice that blood is the acceptable substance to God for forgiveness of sin.
Later, God said it point blank that 'Blood' is the only antidote (remedy) acceptable to God for atonement of our sins (Leviticus 17:11)
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement (purify) for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement (purification) for the soul.'
Pointer 2. The next notable sacrifice representing Christ was recorded in Gen. 22. God asked Abraham, also known as Ibrahim to make a sacrifice with the son of his old age; Isaac. But at the very point when he was to slay the boy, God opened his eyes to a ram, which horns were locked up in the bush (Gen. 22:13). Abraham promptly used the ram for the necessary burnt sacrifice.
The ram represents Christ and that is why Jesus is referred to as 'the Lamb of God' (John 1:29; Revelation 12:11).
Also, the incident happened on Mt. Moriah (Gen.22: 2) and it couldn't be a coincidence that this same mount was where Jesus blood was shed for the atonement of the sins of the world. This was why Jesus said He did not come to abolish the law (the laws of Moses) or the prophets (the writings of the Prophets) but to fulfill them (accomplish their purpose) (Matt.5:17).
Pinter 3. The Israelites had been enslaved in the land of Egypt for 430 years. God charged Moses to speak to Pharaoh to release the Israelites but the king, Pharaoh refused in spite of the several severe punishments, which Moses meted to the Egyptians.
God then decided that He was going to break the back of Pharaoh such that he would no longer have any option but to release the Israelites.
The event signified what Jesus was going to do when He comes to the earth. He would lay down His life and anyone who asks for the cleansing of his sins with His blood will escape hell because God has said "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Ex:12:13) because blood is the only antidote, remedy for atonement of sins (Lev. 17:11; Heb.9: 22).
After the event in Egypt where the angel of the Lord killed all the firstborn males of humans but passed over the houses of Israel, which had blood marking, God asked the Israelites to make it an annual celebration from generations to generations among them and it was called "The feast of Passover"
Jesus laid down His life during one annual celebration of the feast of Passover. Jesus said as recorded in John 10:18 "18 No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again"
So He did not cancel the Passover event as such but His blood replaced the blood of several animals that were killed year in year out because it was not possible for the blood of goats and rams to forgive sins (Heb.10:4).
And that was why He said He has not come to abolish the laws of Moses and those of the Prophets but to fulfill them (Matt.5.17)
So in the same way, which the angel of the Lord did not kill anyone in the houses in Egypt that had blood marking, so also will the angel of the second death spare anyone who believes in the redemptive work of Jesus, perfected with His blood and not go to hell.
Pointer 4. God mandated seven annual feasts for the Israelites. One of them is "The Day of Atonement" (Leviticus 16)
For this procedure, two male goats were required for the sin offering and a ram for the burnt offering. The animals were usually one year old and with no defect.
The High Priest shall bring one of the live goats, lay both hands upon its head and confess over it all the wickedness, rebellion, and sins of the people of Israel. In this way, he will transfer the people's sins to the head of the goat. Then a man specially chosen for the task will drive the goat into the wilderness. 22 As the goat goes into the wilderness, it will carry all the people's sins upon itself into a desolate land.
Here again, we see how Jesus fulfilled the laws of Moses and the writing of the Prophets.
Prophet Isaiah in his book chapter 53 prophesied of Jesus " -------and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" in the same way, which all the sins of the people were transferred on the goat. Note that Jesus was crucified outside the city just as the goat who carried all the sins of the people was led into the wilderness (John 19:17-18)
John the Baptist saw Jesus walking along and He drew the attention of the people around him and said of Jesus "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29)
This is why John the Baptist referred to Jesus as "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1: 29).
Note that all animals that were used for the various sacrifices must have no defect suggesting that in the real sacrifice, no other blood can be acceptable to God other than the blood of Jesus who is the only person that was sinless.
I am preaching on "Certain Foretastes, Shadows, Pointers that Revealed how God was to perfect the Salvation of Man with the Blood of Jesus (summary).
Pointer 5. There was the story of Prophet Jonah who was swallowed by a fish and remained in its belly for three days before the fish vomited him out
God sent Prophet Jonah to Nineveh to go and pronounce a judgment of destruction to them except they repent of their sins.
Jonah was to announce to Nineveh that destruction awaits them barely in 40days and their end would come.
For political reasons, Jonah was happy with the decision of God to destroy Nineveh because Jonah's country and Nineveh were enemies. So Jonah refused to go and pronounce God's warnings to Nineveh so that they will not repent and escape God's judgment.
So Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish.
4 But the LORD hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart.
7 Then the crew cast lots to see which of them had offended the gods and caused the terrible storm. When they did this, the lots identified Jonah as the culprit.
11 And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked Jonah, "What should we do to you to stop this storm?"
12 "Throw me into the sea," Jonah said, "and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault."
13 Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn't make it.
14 Then they cried out to the LORD, Jonah's God. "O LORD," they pleaded, "don't make us die for this man's sin. And don't hold us responsible for his death. O LORD, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons."
15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once!
17 [a]Now the LORD had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.
[a]Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from inside the fish. His prayer is recorded in the book that bears his name in chapter 210 and the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach
How does this incident point to Jesus?
For this we turn to the book of Matthew 12.
Verse 38-40 reads:
38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority."
39 But Jesus replied, "Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
And that is exactly, what happened to Jesus. He was crucified, died and was in the belly of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights, then He rose.
The children of Israel were still on their journey from Egypt to their promised land and the journey was taking too long in their estimation.
So they started to grumble against God and Moses.
5 "Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?" they complained. "There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this horrible manna!"
6 So the LORD sent poisonous snakes among the people, and many were bitten and died.
7 Then the people came to Moses and cried out, "We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take away the snakes."
So Moses prayed for the people.
8 Then the LORD told him, "Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!"
9 So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!
Again, How does this incident point to Christ?
For this, we turn to St. John 3
Nicodemus, a respected Jewish leader visited Jesus to ask about the way of salvation.
Jesus told Nicodemus among other things:
" And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life"
Jesus was referring to the cruel death He was going to go through on the cross in the very near future such that anyone who believes in Him and His redemption plan with His blood, will be saved from hell just like those bitten by the poisonous serpent in the desert got healed when looked at the bronze serpent, which Moses raised on the pole.
The Pole, which Moses erected in the desert, was the symbol of the Cross on which Jesus was crucified and the bronze serpent, which anybody lifted his eyes to look upon, when bitten by the poisonous snake and lived represents Jesus.
With all the exposition of the dramas that occurred, hundreds of years, which were foretastes, shadows or pointers to Jesus and His redemption plan, it will be unfortunate for anyone who hears me or read this sermon to ignore them and do not accept Jesus and go to hell.
I can hear you say that "But all the pointers happened to the Israelites, so Jesus's plan of salvation must be for the Jews alone"
Hear what Jesus said with His own mouth as recorded in the book of st John 10 vs 14.
14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd"
My friend, we; the non-Israelites from all over the world are the other sheep, which Jesus referred to. So, though you are not a Jew, you are included in His plan of salvation.
All you need to do to have the salvation is to confess Him with your mouth with thanks that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved and escape the danger of hell (Romans 10:9).
Let me tell you one more thing. Though His earthly father was a Jew, Jesus had the blood of all races in the then world, flow in His vein, just like many of us. For example, I am known as Yoruba but along the line flows in my veins Nupe's blood. Jesus intentionally made sure He had all the blood of all races of the then world in Him so that no one will have excuse that Jesus is only for the Jews.
Let me repeat my position concerning Jesus, which I always say, to help anyone who has difficulties believing Him.
1. No one else in history has ever declared boldly as Jesus did when He said "I am the way, the truth and the life, no one can come unto the father but by me (John 14:6).
2. No one in history ever said as Jesus said "I and the father are one (John 10:30).
3. No one ever said "Before Abraham was I am" (John 8: 58)
In fact He claimed so many other things that no one else ever claimed in history.
He did so many miracles that no one ever did in the history of man-kind, which time does not permit to list here.
Let us pray.
Pastor, Jesus for the World Revival Mission (Peoples' Church)