Monday, February 11, 2013

Jesus and Noah

In my last post I mentioned that everything in the Bible points to Christ. I also mentioned that my reading through the Bible this year will try to focus on that. I want to share another example of Christ in Genesis.

Most people have heard of the story of Noah and the flood. But have you heard of the symbolism of the ark, the barge that saved Noah, his family and the animals during this flood? In Genesis 6 God told Noah that he was going to flood the earth and destroy everything and everyone.

Genesis 6: 13, 14 - 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.

God told Noah that the only way he could be saved was to build an ark and get inside when the rain came. He did not give Noah multiple ways to be saved, he did not tell him to build an ark, a tower or an underground waterproof bunker. He gave him one option that would save him - an ark.

When the floods did come Noah went into the ark and was saved. Others outside who did not go into the ark perished. They may have seen the waters rising and moved to higher ground, they may have gotten to the top of a mountain and tried to climb the highest tree they could find but eventually all alternative means of being saved from the judgement and wrath of God failed. The waters covered everything according to Genesis 7: 19.

So what does this have to do with Jesus? I'm glad you asked. In John 14 Jesus makes a bold statement that offended many in his day and it especially offends many today.

John 14: 6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Just as God told Noah there is only one way to be saved from God's judgement Christ told his disciples that he was the only way to be saved from God's judgement. Peter reiterated this in Acts. Peter was speaking to the rulers, the elders and the scribes, ie all the religious people and look at what he said when speaking of Christ.

Acts 4: 12 - 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

There is only one way. Just like Noah had only one way we have only one way. In the days of the flood there were many who were probably running to other options, trees, mountains, caves, etc they all fell short of saving them. Today many people are looking to other means of salvation. People are looking to power, money, fame, Buddha, Mohammad, Mother Nature and a whole list of "alternatives".

Throughout the Bible the picture of one means of salvation is shown over and over and over. There is only one way to have our sins forgiven and that is through the finished work of Christ at the Cross. When he said "it is finished" he meant it. God accepted his sacrifice by raising him from the dead three days later.

This is the Gospel message. We cannot save ourselves, we cannot float long enough or climb high enough to make it on our own. God reached out to Noah and said I will save you, I will provide a way for you to escape. Noah was not looking for salvation but God in his sovereignty chose to save Noah. God is still doing this today.
Romans 3: 10-18 - 10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." 13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." 14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." 
Yet in spite of this God chose to seek us out and offer is a spot on the ark in the person of Christ. This is the good news, this is the Gospel for those who believe.

If you are a Believer then you and I are to follow the example of Noah and be a herald of righteousness:

II Peter 2: 5 - if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly
Noah was preaching the Gospel in the days leading up to the flood. He was not quiet, simply hoping that people would figure it out. He preached and shared with those around him. No one other than his family responded and that is ok. When we share our faith it is not up to us to convert people God will take care of that. We simply scatter seed and let God do the rest. 

The day is coming when the spiritual waters will overtake us and we will pass from this life into the next. Are you on the ark? Are you trusting in the one way God provided for us to have a right standing before Him?

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