The antidote

medicine

God is able to cure us from all ails, and often will use our ailment to do so.

Oftentimes, God will find the solution to the problem in the problem itself. Much like a vaccine, God uses our afflictions as the cure to our ailment.

This was the case for the children of Israel. Because the Israelites grew impatient, grumbling against Moses and against God, the Lord sent a legion of snakes to afflict them.  Numbers 21:6-9 details the account:

Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The LORD said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.

The venomous snakes were devastating the Israelites. When the people sought repentance and asked Moses to intercede on their behalf, the solution God gave was to make a snake.

Whoever looked on the bronze snake was, in essence, cured of their ailment. So God, in solving the problem, used the very thing that plagued the Israelites—a snake.

John’s gospel equates Jesus with the bronze snake. John 3:14-15 reads, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

Jesus, then, would be the remedy to humanity’s age-old problem: death. Ephesians 2:1 declares that we were “were dead in your transgressions and sins.”

This death can be traced back to the origins of humankind, found in Adam’s original sin in the Garden of Eden. Romans 5:12 states, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.”

The solution to this death (spiritually and naturally) is found in the death of Christ. Romans 6:3-10 details this solution:

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

To be baptized is to die with Christ. This death is unlike the death that Adam brought into the world through sin, but is death nonetheless.

The death that God uses through Christ is death to sin. Once we have died to sin, we are eligible to be partakers of the “new life” and “resurrection” that his resurrection guarantees.

Galatians 2:20, to this effect, states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Just like the Israelites of old, those who are willing to ask for forgiveness and repent for their sins will be cured from death. God, however, uses death—that of Christ and oneself—to grant life to those who seek it (Matthew 10:38-39).

This principle is not only in effect in salvation, but also our life circumstances. Revelation 12:11 declares, “They triumphed over [satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

Our afflictions are very much key to our triumph! What circumstances has life brought you that are a testament to God’s power at work in you life?

In addition, Ephesians 4:28 offers, “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”

Essentially, this scripture tells us to take what the devil tried to use for his glory and use it for God’s glory. In the case of the thief, it is his hands. The constant, however, is the object of usage.

God has the power to turn our affliction into the thing that prospers us (Genesis 41:52). After all, he used death to bring about life.

It is no question, then, that whatever was meant for evil God is able to make it good (Genesis 50:20).

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~ by christianballenger on July 20, 2011.

One Response to “The antidote”

  1. YES!

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