We all make promises. Some we keep. Some we intend to keep, but for one reason or another it just doesn’t happen. Then there are the plain-old lies. There are a lot of those kinds of promises being made in places like New Hampshire and Iowa these days.
I've been reading about some wonderful promises, however. Jesus Christ made some promises; promises that He kept. For instance:
“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:32-33, NIV).
This was a promise; a promise of what He was going to do for mankind.
He promised, first of all, that He would be lifted up. This, of course, was Jesus’ pledge to die for us. Jesus promised to die in my place; to be lifted up on a crude cross; to suffer agony and die; so that we might be healed. The background for this statement is found in Numbers, chapter 21, verses 4-9.
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!" 6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived.
People looked at that snake which was lifted up and lived.
Friends, we have also been snake bit. The snake has sneaked up on us and sunk his demonic fangs deep into our flesh. Sins festers and the wound is eternal. Don’t try to slap on some potion of New Age religion and optimism. Don’t run off and join a cult – or the circus. Don’t go and hide in alcohol, drugs, or promiscuity.
Look up at Jesus on that (now-empty) cross and live forever.