Christ, the God-sent Savior


God promised to be the Savior of those who believe. In Genesis He already made clear that man is involved in the realization of his salvation:

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; this (seed of the woman) will bruise your head (snake) and you (serpent) will bruise the heel. "(Genesis 3:15)

God had provided a descendant who would put an end to the serpent, the symbol of hostile people who try to keep God's children from eternal life, by tempting them into sin. In connection with the consequences, God made a far-reaching promise to Abraham:

"... your offspring will take possession of the gate of his enemies. And with your offspring, all the nations shall be blessed ... "(Genesis 22: 16-18)

The apostle Paul explained in the letter to the Galatians that these promises were intended in the first instance by Abraham in the singular. They relate to a certain man who came from him: Christ Jesus (3:16). The point of his reasoning is that every man who believes in Him will take part in the promises to Abraham. What concerned the one man, Christ Jesus, the true Son of God, gets his fulfillment in many more sons:

"For you are all sons of God by faith, in Christ Jesus ... If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Galatians 3: 26-29)

These promises were not only given to the offspring of Abraham, but also to him personally. However, he died at the time determined by God and died to dust. He has entered the gate of the realm of the dead (see Matthew 16:16) and is now in the power of his greatest enemy: the cruel king dead. This means that God can fulfill his promises to him only by raising him from the dead (compare Hebrews 11: 17-19). Jesus proved the necessity of the resurrection of Abraham when He pointed to the fact that God said to Moses in modern times and not in the past, that He is the God of Abraham (Matthew 22: 31-33). The promise to him was that his offspring would take possession of the gate of his enemies. In practice at the time, this meant that you had defeated the enemy and determined who could enter the city and who had to leave the city. In the promise to Abraham, it means that the enemies of God and his children have been defeated and that the promised Kingdom has come. The new King not only determines who enters that kingdom, but also the former kingdom of king death on and off. The Lord Jesus Christ said about Himself:

"... I have been dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever and have the keys of death and the kingdom of the dead." (Revelation 1: 17-18)

That He was dead means that He himself must first be delivered from the dead:

"... because we know that Christ, being raised from the dead, no longer dies; death no longer reigns over Him "(Romans 6: 9).

He has entered the domain of the strongest enemy of man and because He was made alive again by his God and Father, He could open the gate from the inside, to free all who have died in the faith and lie there helpless. The image of the deliverance of the exiles from Babylon, in the book of the prophet Isaiah, also fits well with the redemption of sin and death, as proposed in the NT:

"Can the booty be taken from a strong one, or will the prisoners of his in his right escape? But thus says the LORD: Yet the prisoners are taken away from a strong one, and the spoil escapes a great ... I myself will save your sons "(Isaiah 49: 24-25, compare Matthew 12:29).

He "who is in his right" was the tyrant Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. In the letter to the Romans is the tyrant of the believers, the death that came to rule as king (Romans 5:17). The one who has fought and defeated him is Christ Jesus. He, therefore, has the power of the eternal God to deliver people from the realm of the dead, as He shows in the raising of Lazarus:

"I will make you (the Servant of God) ... a covenant for the people ... to say to prisoners: Go out! To those who are in darkness: Come forth! "(Isaiah 49: 8-9, see also 42: 7 and 61: 1)

"... and He has sent Me to proclaim detainees to prisoners ... to send broken ones in freedom. (Luke 4:19)

"Lazarus, come out! ... Release him and let him go away. "(John 11: 43-44)

He speaks as a king to whom he is owned. After his life of obedience and death on the cross, He is found by God to be worthy Lord over all his possessions. God gave Him all who He freed on the basis of their faith from the power of the ruler whom He defeated and took as spoil:

"Therefore I will give him many as a portion, and numerous he shall receive as spoil ..." (Isaiah 53: 11-12)

But from then on, these many are no more prisoners but made citizens of his Kingdom. And now that He is with God in heaven, they expect his coming with eternal life for his people:

"For we are citizens of a kingdom in heaven, from which we also expect the Lord Jesus Christ as redeemer, who will change our humbled body, so that it will be conformed to his glorified body, according to the power with which He also can all things subjects. "(Philippians 3: 20-21)

It is Christ giving to all who believe in Him, in the name of His Father, the only and true Savior, to deliver from the eternal curse of death. He will give them eternal life through the power of God, by opening the way to the tree of life, which was closed by the sin of the first man. Not death but God conquers in Christ:

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified for nothing by his grace through redemption in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:23).

"Death has been engulfed in victory. Death, where is your victory, death, where is your stimulus. The sting of death is sin ... but thank God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. "(1 Corinthians 15: 54-57)

"He who overcomes, I will give to him (Christ) to eat of the tree of life ..." (Revelation 2: 7)

Then the words that God spoke after the sin of the first man can be turned around:

"Let man take and eat of the tree of life, that he may live forever"

Question for consideration:

On what basis can we be redeemed in Christ?

Christ Jesus and the heightened serpent

When Israel sinned in the wilderness, God sent snakes to kill them. Whoever was bitten did not escape death. But God found a provision: Moses placed a brass serpent on a pole, and whoever faithfully pointed the eye upon it was delivered from death (Numbers 21: 8-9). But not forever. Jesus compared his elevation on the cross with that of the serpent on the stake. He who faithfully focuses on Him will be saved forever, but whoever does not believe in Him is lost (John 3: 14-18)


Thanks for reading.
Stay blessed.
Shalom.


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