The Cross for you!

March 19, 2012

Sermon on Numbers 21:4-9 & John 3:14-21, for the 4th Sunday in Lent, about how the story of the bronze serpent ties into Jesus' cross and John 3:16. How Jesus has delivered us from sin and death, and where His battle standard is raised for God's victory.

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:

Listen to audio at:

  1. What caused God to send the serpents among the Israelites in Numbers 21:4-9? What did the burning pain of the bites move them to do in v. 7? How did God appoint a solution for their suffering? What is puzzling or even unusual about the solution? Why might they not have wanted to look at it?

  1. How does this anticipate or look forward to Jesus’ cross? Why might we (or others) not want to look to the cross for our cure? What do we see there? How is Jesus’ cross similar, and yet different from the bronze serpent in Numbers? John 3:14-15

  1. How does the cross relate to the first prophecy ever given in the Bible, to Adam and Eve, about the defeat of the serpent (the devil)? Gen. 3:15; Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14

  1. Jesus says that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. What does it mean that we are perishable? Psalm 103:15. Is there proof of this? What is God’s simple cure for this “fatal weakness”? To whom does He offer this cure? John 3:16. Is it God’s desire that anyone will go without it? John 3:17. Will some refuse that cure nevertheless? John 3:18

  1. How is the cross of Jesus like a banner or a standard raised in battle as a sign of victory? Isaiah 11:10-12; 49:22. How do we as Christians “rally” to that standard, and of what does it assure us (in terms of the spiritual battle that we are in)?

What’s in a name?

January 2, 2012

Sermon on Numbers 6:22-27 and Luke 2:21 about the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus. What does the name of Jesus mean, and what is God's name?

Sermon Talking Points

Read past sermons at:

Listen to audio at:

  1. Look up some examples of Biblical names that bore great significance for their bearers. Genesis 2:7, 20; 3:20; 4:1, 25; 5:29; 17:7-8, 15; etc. 1 Samuel 4:21; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:21-23. What do the name and title “Jesus” and “Emmanuel” mean?

  1. Numbers 6 is sometimes called the “Aaronic benediction” because it was the “word of blessing” that God gave Aaron, the (first) High Priest of Israel to speak over the children of Israel. The threefold blessing set the pattern for Jesus’ “baptismal formula” that uses the name of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). In the benediction from Numbers 6 that we use at the conclusion of each service, how does God’s movement toward His people in the first part of each phrase cause the blessings described in the second part of each phrase?

  1. What was the connection between Jesus’ name and when it was given? What was circumcision? Genesis 17:6-14. Why was the shedding of blood particularly significant in connection with the meaning Jesus’ name? cf. Matt. 1:21-23. What spiritual meaning was also given by God to circumcision? Deut. 10:15-16; 30:6; Jeremiah 4:4; 6:10; Acts 7:51

  1. What is the new “circumcision made without hands” for Christians? What impact does it have for the way we are to live? Colossians 2:11-15; Gal. 5:6; 6:15; 1 Cor. 7:17-20.

  1. How does circumcision cause a stumbling block to our human reason? Why does God work in such ways—contrary to human reason? 1 Cor. 1:27-29. What does this foreshadow? How was Jesus’ first shedding of blood connected to His final shedding of blood for us?

So must the Son of Man be Lifted Up

March 23, 2009

Sermon for the 4th Sunday in Lent, on Numbers 21:4-9 and John 3:14-21

Sermon Talking Points:

1. How did the Israelites show their ungratefulness? How has the sin of ungratefulness been evident in your own heart and life?

2. How has the venom of sin plagued your life or relationships? What have been the effects?

3. How does God’s Law awaken our need for repentance, or alert us to sin’s deadly effects?

4. Why was it so distasteful for them to look at the bronze serpent? Why is it so distasteful for us to look at Jesus crucified? What would God have us learn by this?

5. Compare Jesus with Moses’ role as an intercessor. Compare Him to the bronze serpent. How does Jesus’ being “lifted up” draw all people to Himself and bring glory to God? (Read John 12:27-36; 8:25-30) What is that “lifting up”?

6. How does Jesus’ lifting up on the cross “draw the venom” from us, and what is the result for us?

7. For your own study, read 2 Kings 18:1-12 (esp. v. 4). How did the bronze serpent later become twisted to a false purpose and use?