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“The antidote for snake bites”

Oct 14 2019

“The antidote for snake bites”

This last Sunday we got to witness a miracle as a young man Daniel became “Born Again”. That got me thinking about the most popular verse in all the Bible in John 3:16 where Jesus spoke to Nicodemus. The story has its roots in Numbers 21:4-9 and would have been one familiar to Nicodemus. It is the story of sin and rebellion of the nation and God’s judgment upon them by sending fiery serpents that bit the people. You could say pardon the pun that the people were snake bit with sin. But it is also a story of God’s grace as Moses interceded on their behalf. Jesus’ answer to Nicodemus 2nd question “How can this new birth be?” was “Well when I am lifted up put your trust in Me”! Jesus says in verse 14 that the lifting up of Himself is a “Must” that those that would look upon Him would be saved from the snake bite of sin, it’s a “must” there is only one cure for what ails mankind. In the provision for their healing God gave them a responsibility to look up and to trust in God’s provision but if they wouldn’t do so they wouldn’t be healed. That’s what people reject about Jesus; they want God to provide the antidote for their snake bite but they don’t want to take any responsibility for either being bitten in the first place nor the need to continue the relationship afterward. In Vs. 15 Jesus identifies what that bronze serpent upon the poll when He tells Nicodemus “that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” And to make sure Nicodemus didn’t miss is Jesus tells him again in verse 16 “Whoever believes in Him”. They had to trust in that which appeared to be foolish, something that didn’t appear to be sufficient to safe them but there wasn’t a plan “B”. Jesus says that the cure is universal it doesn’t matter how much of the poison of the snake bite of sin has ruined your life you may be on your last breath or you may by feeling no ill effects at all “whoever” you are Jesus’ blood is the anti-venom that will cure you no matter what state you are in. Finally we are told in verse 16 something amazing “Jesus did not die in order for the Father to love sinners, no the Father so loved us that He gave Jesus.” In verse 16 Jesus uses only 25 words to communicate three truths about God the Father:

  • The Father’s heart: “He loved the world”
  • The Father’s plan: “He gave His only begotten Son”
  • The Father’s will: “Whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”

In verse 16 we learn five things about God’s love:

  1. We learn the object of God’s love: God did not wait for the world to turn to Him before He loved the world.
  2. We learn the gift of God’s love: He gave His only begotten Son. God’s love didn’t just feel for the plight of a fallen world He did something about it.
  3. We learn the recipient of God’s love: God loves the world, but the world does benefit from that love until it believes in Jesus.
  4. We learn the intention of God’s love: God’s love actually saves man from eternal destruction.
  5. We learn the duration of God’s love: He will never stop loving His people, even unto the furthest distance of eternity.

This has been Pastor Dale