Anglican Morning Devotion, 19 June 2021 A.D.
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
¶ “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
At the moment of our Lord’s coming sacrifice, He faced, with absolute foreknowledge, the horror of His coming sacrifice and humiliation. He had a perfect understanding of the coming events leading up to, and including, His crucifixion – the beatings, His being spat upon, the desertion of His disciples at the hour of His greatest need, the crown of thorns, and, then the excruciating pain of the nails. This foreknowledge magnified the love and steadfast intention to carry on in His divine purpose to redeem all whom the Father would place in His hands. But the dread of the cross was more than negated by the prospect of vanquishing the arch-enemy of mankind, and of His Father’s Creation. The desire of ages was in the process of being realized in His defeat of Satan and Hell on the cross. “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:7) Now our Lord utters this powerfully profound indictment: “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 12:31
Satan is the source and fountainhead of all sorrows. He is the adversary, not only of the soul of man, but also of his physical sufferings and death. Like the old serpent of Eden, the fiery serpent of the Wilderness brought pain and death to all that were bitten (and we all have been bitten by the old serpent). God commanded Moses to make a brass serpent and attach it to a pole in the midst of the camp: “8 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. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” Numbers 21:8-9 The image of that serpent represented their sins crucified in Christ. They were healed only when they looked to that sacrificed.
“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32. Christ assumed unto Himself all the sins of the world on the cross – those sins of omission as well as those of commission. Every sin, great and small, committed by man was a part of that burden Christ bore for us. All who were bitten by the serpent in the Wilderness did not look to the brazen serpent lifted up. Those perished in pain and death owing to their lack of faith in obedience to God. The sinner today has been bitten by the old Serpent of Eden. He is dead already in his sins. (see Ephesian 2). The only remedy to that pain and death of the serpent’s bite is to look to the Redemption made available by Christ on the cross. He draws all nations, tongues and peoples who look to Him.
Christ is like a Great Magnet that draws His elect to Himself. A magnet is a metallic device that draws all other metallic objects of like substance to itself. An iron metal does not draw metals of a different nature such as lead or aluminum – only objects of a like physical nature. Christ likewise knows His own and will draw them from the graves of land and sea at His coming. He will know His own in the nature of their spiritual likeness to Him. Those who have taken upon themselves the Mind and Will of the Lord – rejecting their own wills that were in bondage to sin – shall be drawn to Him at His coming.
There is an illustration I like to use with my young adults who ask how Christ can differentiate between the goats and the lambs at the last day. I gather a variety of metal objects such as pins, screws, nails, etc. – all of different metallic substance. Some are iron, some brass, some aluminum, some lead, etc. When the magnet is passed over these, only those of like physical nature (iron) are drawn by the magnet. All others are left behind.
What kind of spiritual metal defines your state of grace with the Lord?