Christ as …the Lamb, the Serpent, & … the Wheat
Paul’s “my gospel” message is that in the Crucified and Risen Lord Jesus is the believer’s ALL-Sufficient All-Inclusive Blessing that God planned for man “from before the foundation of the world.”
1 Cor. 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save (except) Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified.
Ephesians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places ‘In Christ’: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him [to be in Christ] Before The Foundation of The World, that we should be holy and without blame before him in [His] love:
Before the Cross, Jesus of Nazareth’s ministry was unto ‘Israel only.’ He proclaimed that the long-promised Kingdom was “at hand.” Jesus’ coming and message concerned the ‘Kingdom of Heaven that was promised to come to earth,’ establishing His Kingdom as promised to Abraham and the fathers of the Nation Israel.
Genesis 17:7-8 And I [the Lord will establish my covenant between me and thee [Abraham] and thy seed after thee in their generations for an Everlasting Covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, The Land wherein thou art a stranger, All The Land of Canaan, for an Everlasting Possession; and I will be their God. Matt. 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Rom 15:8, 24 Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to Confirm the Promises made unto the fathers [of Israel].
Matt. 15:24…, I am not sent but [only] unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
But… “He [Jesus] came unto his own [Israel], and His Own [Israel] Received Him Not.” (John 1:11)
In His earthly ministry Jesus instructed the 12 Jewish Apostles to go only “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Matthew 10:5-6 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go NOT into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
At Pentecost Peter Continued with Jesus of Nazareth’s message “of the Gospel of the Kingdom” for Israel
Acts 2:22 Ye Men Of ISRAEL, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
Acts 3:12 And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of ISRAEL, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? …
Acts 3:21, 24-25 [Jesus] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God Hath Spoken By The Mouth Of All His Holy Prophets Since The World Began. 24 Yea, and All the Prophets from Samuel and those that follow after… foretold of these days. Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, and in thy seed [Jesus, cf. Gal 3:16] shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Jesus’ and Peter’s message was for Israel to receive Jesus as the Messiah, and His Kingdom on Earth. Peter proclaimed “the Gospel of the Kingdom” … continuing Jesus’ message for the Nation Israel. Paul noted the Two Contrary Gospels in this account seen best in the KJV Bible only.
Gal. 2:7-8 But CONTRARIWISE, [as opposites] when they saw that the gospel of the UNcircumcision [concerning the Gentiles] was committed unto me [Paul], … as the gospel of the Circumcision [concerning Israel] was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me [Paul] toward the Gentiles:)
In contrast with “The Gospel of the Kingdom” that Jesus and “the Twelve” preached to Israel, we have Paul’s full grace gospel - the Gospel of Christ’s suffering, death, burial, and resurrection (1Cor. 15:3-4), which is All-inclusive, dealing with ALL our vital needs while on earth and for eternity. The Cross-work of Christ in freeing all believers from the penalty and power of Sin … applies to all men of all ages, Both Jews and Gentiles.
Paul’s Gospel of the Cross is Jesus Suffered, Died, was Buried, and Resurrected in order to be our ALL.
“I [Paul] delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)
1) Jesus died “FOR US” to save us as our Savior, paying our Sin-debt.
2) Jesus died “AS US.” to liberate from the Power of Sin.
3) Jesus was Resurrected as the life-giving Spirit … to be Our Indwelling New and Eternal Life.
Let’s now look into ‘the Cross’ as it relates to Christ as ‘the Lamb, Serpent, & Wheat.’ Jesus’ Cross-work is here likened to three allegorical metaphors for aspects of Christ Crucified and Resurrected.
1) Jesus died “FOR US” as the “LAMB” whose blood washed us of our sins. He took on Our “Sins” by the cup He drank at Gethsemane… “[Father] take this cup from me, nevertheless, not my will but Thy will be done.”
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity [sins] of us ALL [believers of all ages].
John 1:29 John [the Baptist] … saith, Behold the LAMB OF GOD, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [our sin-debt payment] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the LAMB SLAIN From The Foundation Of The World.
2) But also, Jesus Died as ‘the SERPENT’ and “AS US” … He took on the fallen Adamic Sin-nature in His flesh at His incarnation. YET, JESUS NEVER SINNED (Heb 4:15)!!!
2 Cor 5:21 he [God the Father] hath Made Him To Be SIN For Us, who Knew No Sin; [so] that we might be made the Righteousness of God In Him.
Sin (singular) and Sins (the many acts of Sin) are different.; 1) ‘Sin’ is the ‘fallen Serpentine nature’ of the Devil that is in all humans born of Adam, 2) Sins are fruit or expression of that SIN-nature in man’s flesh.
Hebrews 2:14-15 … he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same [as a human]; [so] that Through Death He Might
Destroy [nullify] him that had The Power of Death, that is, the Devil; 15 and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
We believers we need to understand our new found FREEDOM from Sin’s ‘PENALTY’ and from the ‘POWER’ and Dominion of SIN as accomplished by Jesus’ Death. Then also we need to recognize and live by the NEW Christ-LIFE Germinated within us by the Deposit of the Christ-SEED into our “spirit of man,”
Romans 6:3-5 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized [placed or set] into Jesus Christ were Baptized Into His Death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by [a dry] baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in NEWNESS of LIFE. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His Death, we shall be also in the Likeness of His Resurrection [life]:”
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
The Cross of Christ Yielded Three (3) Great Blessings for Believers:
- As the LAMB of God Christ died “FOR Us” – sacrificed to Take Away Our Sins.
Rom. 5:8-9 … while we were yet sinners, Christ Died For Us. 9 Much more then, being now justified [declared righteous] By His Blood [shed for our sins], we shall be saved from [God’s] Wrath through him.
- As the SERPENT Christ died “AS US,” as our Sinful Old Man – Liberating us from Sin’s Power.
We need to see how that Jesus not only died “FOR US,” … but also He died “AS US.”
Romans 6:3 so many of us as were baptized [set] into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death [not into water]?
Gal. 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [faithfulness] of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Thus, Christ’s DEATH dealt with the first two (2) aspects of Paul’s Grace Gospel; dealing with 1) as the propitiatory payment for “the sins of the world,” and 2) to Terminate Our “Old Man.”
Rom 6:6-7 we know that our old self is crucified with him so that the ‘body of sin’ might be ‘made of no effect’ with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because Anyone Who Has DIED Has Been FREED From Sin.
Being “In Christ” the SIN-nature no longer has power to reign over a ‘dead person’!
So, Jesus not only died “FOR US,” but also that He died “AS US.” … and then also we rose “with Him” in “Newness of Life” (cf. Rom. 6:3-4, above)
- As the Buried “Grain of WHEAT”; Jesus resurrected to be “the Life-giving Spirit” living in and through each believer as their New and Eternal Life.
Christ as the “Grain [seed] of Wheat” (Jn 12:24) is the “seed” (Gk. sperma, Gal 3:16, 1Pet 1:23) of Life in us.
1 Cor. 15:45 … first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus] was made [became] a quickening [life-giving] spirit.
Col. 1:26-27 the mystery [secret] which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ IN You, the hope [confident expectation] of glory:
Col. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Christ is now living His Resurrection Life ‘In Us,’ as the New Us. Having been “regenerated” (Titus 3:5) of Christ as the Father’s “seed” (1Peter 1:23) … we bear Christ’s resurrected “Spirit of life” in our spirit.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I Live; yet Not I, But Christ Liveth In Me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
1John 4:17 … As He Is, So Are We [right now while living] in this world.
2Cor. 5:17 any man be in Christ, he is a New Creature: old things [of our Old Man] are passed away; behold, all things are become New.
In Bible Typology [as metaphor] we see Christ on the Cross “AS US” bearing Our “SIN- Infected Old-Self.” Some can’t explain this verse below with its reference to Jesus as the Serpent on the Cross. It reveals how every believer’s Old Man has died with Christ… that we might be Freed from the Power of “Sin in the flesh”
“as Moses lifted up the SERPENT in the wilderness, even so [likewise] must the Son of man be lifted up:” (Jn. 3:14)
Below is the Old Testament Scripture that explains Jesus as “the Serpent” of John 3:14 (above),
Num. 21:6-9 the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9And Moses made a serpent of brass, [symbolizes judgment] and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
NOTE: Moses prayed that the Serpents be taken away but the ‘serpents’ that bit the Israelites in the wilderness were NOT Taken Away. Instead, God provided a Brass Serpent for them to individually look to as their healing from the affects of the Serpent’s poison that had entered their bodies, freeing them from the power of Sin. They still carried the poison in their bodies but they were freed from its power of death. Likewise, we still also have “Sin in the flesh” (Rom. 8:3) of our bodies but now we can overcome Sin by ‘identifying with the death of with Jesus as … the death of Our Old Man’ – Our Old Self.
Jesus’ Human Body on the Cross was as God’s ‘Serpent-Trap’ on behalf of All Sin-infected humanity.
1 Cor 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (Another message)
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God [The Father] sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh [in the likeness of our outer Adamic human body form – which contains “Sin in the flesh”], and for sin, condemned [damned, not destroyed] SIN IN THE FLESH: [In the flesh of Himself, that He got from the Mary’s egg, on the behalf of all mankind]
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the Curse Of The Law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
So, Jesus came to earth being incarnated as the “Son of Man” … to be “Made Sin FOR US”
2 Cor. 5:21 For he [God the Father] hath made [“made” - ordained or destined”] him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; [so] that we might be made the righteousness of God in [union with] him.
Jesus Christ’s Death makes our “Sin in the flesh” “of No Effect.” We’ve DIED with Jesus and thereby Freed from the ‘POWER’ of the SIN-Nature STILL Resident in Our FLESH.
Romans 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified (“is crucified,” remaining crucified even now) with him, that the body of sin [Gk. “soma” flesh body of sin] might be
destroyed [Gk. kartargeo, Made Of No Effect, [so], that henceforth we should NOT Serve SIN. 7For He That Is Dead Is Freed From Sin [freed from the Power of the Sin-nature that is Still in the flesh until we physical die].
We are to Identify with His death … As Our Old Man’s Death …and now His Seeded-life is our Life!
Romans 6:3-4 … so many of us as were baptized [placed] into Jesus Christ were Baptized Into [firmly fixed to] His Death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism: [so] that Like As Christ Was Raised Up From The Dead by the glory of the Father, even [that is] so We Also Should Walk In NEWNESS of LIFE.
3) Jesus died as a “Grain [seed] of WHEAT” … to Rise again … liberating His “Seed” of life … to be dispensed into believers, thus reproducing the life of the Godhead “IN US,” with His Nature in our “spirit of man.” When a ‘grain seed’ is buried it begins to grows by bursting, dying individually to be multiply its life.
John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except [unless] a corn [grain, seed] of wheat fall into the ground and DIE, it abideth alone [it’s just one]: but If It Die, it Bringeth Forth Much Fruit [many grains].
1 Cor. 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made [became] a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus Christ] was made [became] a quickening [life-giving] spirit.
God the Father’s “Many Sons” are the ‘Many Grains’ as the Fruit of the Cross as the out-flow of Jesus Christ’s Death, burial, and Resurrection Life.
Hebrews 2:10 For it became him (God), for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing Many Sons Unto Glory [the Christ-seed germinates in us to His full glory or expression], to make the captain [Jesus as the leader – the 1st fruit] of their salvation perfect [complete] through sufferings.
The “Grain” or “Seed which is Christ” by Nature bears very same Life ‘As He IS’ in His Resurrection.
Gal. 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of One, And to thy Seed [Gk. sperma], Which Is Christ.
1Pet. 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed [Gk. human sperma that dies], but of incorruptible [eternal seed], by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (The Living Word is Jesus, cf. Jn 1:1)
2 Peter 1:4 … by these [promises] ye [Israel] might be Partakers of The Divine Nature [the nature that is that is of His eternal resurrection Life], having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We as believers have been “regenerated” (Tit. 3:5) by the Father’s life-giving “SEED [sperma], which is Christ.” Thus, we have the Spirit-DNA of God the Father by His Christ-Seed as our life and New Nature.
Col. 2:9-10 in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the FULNESS of the GODHEAD bodily. 10And Ye Are Complete In Him…
Having seen the meaning of the Cross we can better understand the centrality of Paul’s All-encompassing “Revelation of the Mystery [secret plan of God concerning Christ and the Cross].”
“Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my [Paul’s] gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, According To The Revelation of The Mystery, Which Was Kept Secret Since The World Began,” (Romans 16:25)
Paul’s “my gospel” of “the revelation of the Mystery (Gk. musterion, the God-kept secret plan)” was for All believers because… Israel will Partake of the same blessings of the Cross when they ultimately receive the Messiah at His 2nd coming. The Mystery [secret] of the Christ’s Cross concerns the ‘PURE Grace of God’ in Christ Saving and Indwelling ALL who will receive him – both Gentile & Jew, without racial distinction.
Peter later recognized and received Paul’s message of ‘the Cross’ (Rom. chapters 1-5), Paul’s explanation as to Why the Kingdom Had Not Yet Come (Rom. chapters 9-11). Peter then knew how important this information was, that it would be needed to sustain the end time believers of Israel in Tribulation period.
2 Peter 3:13, 15-16 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. … 15And account that the [delay in the appearing of the kingdom and] longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles [Romans through Philemon], speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist], (as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.)
So, by this time Peter recognized that Paul’s “epistles” explain the meaning of the Cross in [i.e., Romans 1-6, and also the delay in the appearing of Christ and His Millennial Kingdom. Paul explains this in Romans 9-11.
Peter then knew that the scattered sheep of Israel will need to know this information about the Power of the Cross to ‘sustain them in faith’ during the Tribulation. They will have to “endure” in the end times “wrath of God” that is to ‘purge out the rebels on earth.’
“And I Will Purge Out From Among You [Israel] The Rebels, and [all] Them That Transgress Against Me: … and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 20:38 (KJV)