First the Diabolos argues that man will not die. (Adam) then he forever after harrasses him that he will die. (us).
It is the DRAMA of the stories that gives them their power, and the seriousness of the issues concerned. Mostly always about death.
Now what logical analysis can we make of the snake being lifted up in the wilderness? It was nothing of itself, just one of the snake plague that had been biting the Jews in the wilderness and causing death.
It might have signified some minor triumph over the nasty critters, but it was presented as much more than that. “All who look will live”. The serpent of death, was itself dead, There was supernatural power present to heal those afflicted. It was a depiction of faith, a depiction of mind over matter perhaps, but could not possibly bring healing of itself, without supernatural intervention.
HOWEVER. Not to say that this is what happened in the above instance, but the power of thought can be impressively powerful. We know that there is such a thing as hypnotism, which is the power of suggestion over mental and allied physical processes. And something like this may be involved when we consider the Australian aboriginals, who have had “witchdoctors” called “Kadicha men”, or similar.
They have a ritual involving what is known as “the pointing of the bone”, and if people find out, or are led to believe, that they have been the subject of such a ceremony, they actually die. Such is the power of the mind when it is bound up in superstitious fear, that they refuse to eat and end up dying.
So there may be a lot of truth in the power that our beliefs have over us. IE that which we believe may be either that which we already are, or what we become. That our very being is a product of our thought processes insofar as our behaviour and character is concerned, and which may even reach into our ultimate destiny.
When it comes to “faith in the blood”, it may be that it is the DRAMA of it that is a major factor. I have already stuck my neck out in rationalising that the blood itself is nothing, that it represents a death. However, the greater story may lie not so much in a death, but in the dramatic way that blood represents that death, in that it was horrific, graphic and violent.
There is a tremendous spiritual impact that accompanies the story of the gospel, the story of the cross. The DRAMA of the serpent lifted up on a pole, the DRAMA of a man being the subject of an apparent blood sacrifice, which sacrificial practices the Jews were fully familiar with. Jesus himself went amongst those who sold animals for temple sacrifices. The priests sacrificed, with much drama and blood, the animals who were to “bear their sins”.
And now we have this preacher of life and love, sacrificed on a wooden pole, and lifted up as the serpent in the wilderness, as the blood sacrifice, the receiver of OUR sins, and the bearer of the due punishment earned by those sins.
The transfer of guilt, rather than being from them to the sacrifice, as was the intention of such blood sacrifices, would have been of the OPPOSITE effect. The GUILT would have been transferred from Jesus, TO THE ONLOOKERS. Even the Roman centurion was affected in this way. Certainly the thief on the cross was.
The blood depicts the violent drama of the event, the darkness and earthquake and the words involved, played out in this dramatic and horrific scene which was presented to those who looked on, and subsequently has forever been presented to the “mind’s eye” of those who have either read or heard of the gospel regarding the sacrifice of Christ.
The spiritual impact of this is immense. There is no rationale that can convey the message in the way that it has been done. It is almost beyond words in the way that it can reach into the depths of the soul of man. Its depiction is that of all things, of guilt and death and life and hate and love and fear. So extremely powerful. And by this impact, the heart of man is opened to God’s truth. Opened like the tomb of Lazarus, perhaps.
His torture was our torture. He brought the anguish of life and death to the forefront, to the surface, and poured it out of every pore of his being. The depths of his concern for us, if not able to be seen in his life, is certainly seen now in and by his death, and the manner of it.
And yet this horrific scene speaks of love, his love for us, God’s love for us that we rejected somewhere in our life’s experience. And the love we long and yearn for. The love that was killed off somewhere in our journey in this life, this existence. Being fully acquainted with the result within ourselves, of the rejection of love, of the hurt and pain it has brought, and brings, to ourselves and others, a continuing awareness of the separation from the love of the eternal parent.
So this is why we identify so strongly with him and his cross. Because it is also us and our cross. But we remain pinned to it, to the cross of this body of death, whereas he was released from it, until the metamorphous was complete, and life was evidenced with the final release, for him at least, from death’s processes.
[i have not mentioned that the snake was a bronze replica (if it was) ]
So with this story, even if it still appears somewhat analytical, I have attempted to redeem myself from a lot of earlier posts, particularly regarding the cross and blood. Whether I have succeeded I’m not yet sure. The good news is that while continuing to bear our cross, we now have the power of his life by which to do so.