This discussion board is intended to be an extension of our fellowship as a FAMILY of GOD from all nations and to foster our desire to passionately exalt Jesus Christ as Savior, Treasure and LORD over all of life, and to express His love through the transforming power of the Gospel.
|The Cross of Christ: The Tree that Makes Bitter Waters Sweet|
|Saturday, 07 April 2012 06:16|
The cross of Christ is like unto the tree that made the bitter waters of Marah sweet. Early during the exodus journey out of Egypt the Israelites encountered a situation in which they could find no suitable water to drink. The water they had found at a place called Marah was bitter and undrinkable. When they began to grumble against God, Moses called out to God on their behalf. In response, God showed Moses a tree which he threw into the water so that it became sweet and drinkable and beneficial to the people (Ex. 15:23-25).
The cross of Christ is like unto that tree – it makes the “bitter waters” of this world sweet to the soul who trusts in Christ. In this world we have tribulation, but we can take courage because Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33). Because God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up on the cross for all of us who believe, we can be confident that He will not withhold from us any other thing necessary for our eternal good (Rom. 8:28-32). All the bitter trials of this life through the cross of Christ are made unto us sweet waters of sanctification and growing fellowship with God (Rom. 5:1-8; 8:16-18; James 1:2-4). Through His atoning death and victorious resurrection, Jesus has made even the bitter water of death a doorway for the believer into the everlasting sweetness of unhindered fellowship with God in His presence – for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). Death, which came into this world as a bitter consequence of sin and the curse (Gen. 2:17; 3:15-19; Rom. 5:12), through Christ’s death is made a sweet blessing to us who believe, in that it becomes the doorway through which God releases us from the body of this death, issues our soul into His immediate presence free from all sin and its consequences, and prepares us for the resurrection from the dead (2 Cor. 5:1-10; Rom. 7:24-8:4, 11).
For those who refuse Christ’s offer of mercy and continue to disregard His grace to their dying breath, death remains an entrance into everlasting torment (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 14:11; Rom. 2:4-11). But it need not be so for any individual. Because of Christ’s death and victory, all who come to Christ in sincere repentance can hear the same reply as the criminal who cried out to Christ for mercy in his final hours - “You will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).
Through Christ’s death and resurrection the sting and victory of death is taken away so that we can now say, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55). Because of Christ’s victory, “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
The cross of Christ has become the tree that makes the bitter waters sweet. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!