The message of the passover is a central concept from scripture. It is the story of redemption and restoration. It is the story of the soverign God interveening for the renewal of hope to a hopeless people. Our story, the Christian story, is a story of God's passover as well. Our story, the Christian story, is a story of how God's judgement passed over our homes. Our story, the Christian story, is a story that must be passed on to our children in the mundane of daily living.
Today, my daughter and I were at the clinic. She has an infection in her eyelid and after 10 days on an antibiotic it was still present so the doctor wanted to see her. As we sat in the examination room, waiting for the doctors arrival, she saw the medical symbol on a scale that was in the room. Looking over at me she asked, "What is that monster?" It took me a few questions to discover what "monster" she was looking at. I agreed in my head that the symbol did look a little monsterous, and proceeded to explain what the symbol was.
"That is the brazen serpent," I explained, "It is the symbol for a doctor but it comes from the Bible."
"Where," she asked?
"It is a story of Moses, who delivered God's people from the land of Egypt."
"I know that story," she sighed, knowing there were no "brazen serpents" in it.
"No! No!" I continued, "This story takes place after they had left for Israel..."
I explained how the people of Israel sinned, how they were cursed with a plauge, and how Moses set up the pole with the serpent so that anyone who looked at would be healed of the plauge.
In truth I did not remember the details of the story. I still don't, and after I am done typing this I am going to go read it, and rediscover all the details like what the sin was, what the plauge was, and other parts that may have slipped my mind. What I did remember was how the great physcian was present to send healing. What I did remember is how God's gracious gift of forgiveness and healing was there and present for his people. What I did remember was that God himself was present with his people.
I am humbled by the awesome responsibilty of passing the story of God onto my children. I am unworthy of a task so immense as to teach the truth of God's pursuit for his people to these beloved children. I feel after all these years, that I am just learning myself, about the depth of God, and I am but a toddler trying to pass on that depth which is beyond the minds of adults to my precious babies.
I am thankful for the passover of God's grace. I am thankful for the lamb that was sacrificed so that His blood could bring redemption. I will respond in joy to that gift as I pass on the message of freedom from slavery and abundant living to my girls.
"And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes" - Exodus 12:26-27
Hi Kevin...Great post! You've captured the heart of what it means to be a parent. Thanks for the encouragement, today, to pass on truth and history to my own kids.
I'm glad to walk through Lent with you...
What is the most interesting to me is this: Why a serpent? Why a symbol of the enemy to be lifted up? Why was the snake the image to which they would be physically healed?
And then to have Jesus later say that when he would be lifted up, he would draw all men to him (referring to the serpent being lifted up and people being physically healed), and heal them spiritually; remove their affliction of sin.
In this confusing use of the serpent I wonder if God did not use it to show a connection between sin and death. Perhaps to show the serpent can only affect our body, but it would take something spiritual, something perfect to remove our spiritual death and disease: Jesus. Perhaps something along the lines of his admonition to not fear the one who can destroy the body, but the one who can destroy both the body and soul in hell.
That is the topic for tommorow's post. The serpent is the metaphor for the cross.
I hate to tell you this: but you are wrong. The serpent winding around the staff that was adopted as the insignia of doctors does not come from the Bible. It was actually the symbol of the Greek god Asclepius, who was the god of Healing. When I did my Revelation study and we studied Pergamos (where Asclepius' temple was) I learned this. Asclepius' name is also where we get the word "scapel" from. Good story though and the facts do not diminish the truths you taught to my niece.
That is really quite intresting to me. I have been told many times it came from the Bible. It makes sense that it would be Greek, since they are the birthplace of western medicine. I also guess that explains the wings... OH well I guess next time I will have to explain that Bible has a symbol LIKE that also....
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