Who is God?
"As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."John 3:14-18
After snakes had entered the camp of Israel, Moses lifted up a pole that had a sculpture of a snake on it. God told the people if they would look at the snake they would live. Some looked and were cured of snake bites, those who did not look died. Why did God do something so strange? What was the lesson?
Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
The people in the wilderness bitten by the fiery serpents, the poison-virus spreading through their veins, and causing burning pain, torpor, and death—this was symbolic of the world lying in the misery, restlessness, and spiritual death, which came from the Serpent’s victory in Paradise.
The serpent of brass lifted up by Moses, in which the sufferer saw the means of recovery determined by God, and was healed by faith in Him—this was symbolic of the means of salvation determined by God for the world.
So here we have Christ accepting, as well as discerning, the Cross. And we have more than that. We have Christ looking at the Cross as being, not humiliation, but exaltation. ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up.’ And what does that mean? It means the same thing that He said when, near the end, He declared, ‘The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified.’ We are accustomed to speak-and we speak rightly-of His death as being the lowest point of the humiliation which was inherent in the very fact of His humanity. He condescended to be born; He stooped yet more to die. But whilst that is true, the other side is also true-that in the Cross Christ is lifted up, and that it is His Throne. For what see we there? The highest exhibition, the tenderest revelation, of His perfect love. And what see we there besides? The supreme manifestation of the highest power.
Paul writes, "God made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Cor. 5:21
There is so much to learn about God in these verses.
1. He loves us so much he gave his Son to us. Forever. He is called the Son of God, but also the Son of Man.
2. All we have to do as a Christian is keep our eyes on Jesus. We are not saved by anything we do. We look at Jesus through the Bible and talk with him thru prayer. This is how faith starts and ends. We are saved by faith in the Son of God.
3. God went through hell for us. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Hell is the second death. Jesus went through that on the cross. That is why he cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me." He went through the second death in his mind. He felt hell, which is being separated from God for eternity. It is not endless suffering, as some people teach about hell. If it was, then Jesus could have never left the cross.
4. God does not want to condemn the world. He loves the world. He wants to draw all to him so they can be saved. It is true he will one day judge the world; he must decide who is safe to take to heaven. Those who hurt people will not be allowed in. They would continue to do evil in heaven as they do it here. They would also hate heaven, because nothing inside them would be attracted to what is done there. They would not want to praise God and live in love and peace.
Okay, this is a looong post. But hey, it explains the plan of salvation! You can't do that in a few sentences, although I guess that is just what Jesus did.
Who Am I?
I am someone who thought I had to be a good girl (perfect, actually) to be saved. Of course I lived in fear of God because of that. It took many years for me to understand Jesus did it all and does it all. I have no need to worry about being perfect. If God wants me to be perfect, it is up to him to do it to me. I am happy in his love and acceptance of me. All I have to do is look and live.