SUNDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2015
LOOK AND LIVE (2)
‘Then the Lord said to Moses, make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on a pole and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived,’ Num. 21v8-9.
Today, it is no longer the bronze serpent that was provided to save the children of Israel, but the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who hung on the cross and died to free us from sin and impending death. The scripture was right, when it observed: ‘just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life,’ Jh. 3v14-15. In this connection, we must appreciate the Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu, the Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Lokoja and the Bishop of Lokoja, as he added his voice, when he led in the Bible study during the Standing Committee Meeting at Akure to say: ‘the ‘lifted up’ here may be understood to refer both the crucifixion on the cross and Christ’s exaltation and ascension.’ Remember, ‘when I am lifted up, I will draw all men to myself’
Necessarily, therefore, all who believe in Him should take to heart the gospel truth that: ‘Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith,’ Heb. 12v2. Outside Him, there is no alternative and the Bible is emphatic about it: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,’ Jn 14v6. We need to emphasise again and again that there is no solution outside Him. Any attempt to whittle down this belief becomes balderdash.
What then should a child of God do in this situation but to look unto Him and live? Therefore, if you want to succeed in your marriage, academics, business or issues about life, ‘look unto Jesus’. No matter how tough the terrain may be, no matter the suffering one may be going through or challenges on his/her way, the solution is to: ‘look unto Jesus.’ The Israelites came to a fuller realisation later that they couldn’t make any headway on their own except they turned to God.
They were quick to tell Moses: ‘we have sinned against you and against God, please pray to God on our behalf.’ Their admission to guilt was legendary and a great step to solving their problems. What does the Bible say; ‘if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me,’ Ps 66v18. Again, ‘if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us,’ 1 Jh 1v8-9. We should note that sin separates; it destroys our relationship with God the Father and more so makes Him to be far away from us, Isa. 59v1-2.
People of God, we cannot make headway in life unless we confess our shortcomings to Him. Sin, like the venom of the snake, when allowed, spreads and would lead to judgment and damnation at last. But thanks to God Almighty, Who has given us a lifeline: ‘believe in the Lord Jesus and thou shall be saved’. It behooves us, therefore, to accept Jesus as Lord and personal Saviour and also to be washed in His blood so that every stain of sin (venom) will not ruin us in the end. This call is for us to Look and Live and I believe that no time is better than now for us to do so.
Therefore, as a person, look unto Jesus. And for us as a nation, we need to look unto Him, as He can heal and restore all our political, economic, social and administrative problems. It is my prayer that as we hear this clarion call by the grace of God, we would not harden our hearts.
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,