While I was doing my Bible reading this morning, Paul mentioned two Old Testament references to Christ as a stone or rock that hadn’t been in the prophecy list I consult to help me with these posts. So we get a detour back to the idea of the Jesus as God’s holy rock.
1 Corinthians 10: 3-4 They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.
Exodus 17:6 I am going to stand there in front of you on the rock at Horeb; when you hit the rock, water will come out of it and the people will drink.
Numbers 20:8 “Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the community and their livestock.” (All Scripture HCSB)
In both of these Old Testament references, alluded to by Paul, ‘the rock’ was with the children of Israel. In both cases, it gave water to them when they thirsted. They were walking in a desert after all.
I heard a pastor speak before on these two rock instances, but it took reading Corinthians this morning to bring it to memory. He said that the reason the rock was struck the first time was that it did represent Christ. And in order to give us living water, he had to pay the price. So Moses striking the rock shows us Jesus on the cross.
But when Moses struck the rock a second time, he was acting like the Pharisees and leaders who wanted to kill Jesus in the first place. They let their anger get the better of them. Moses let his anger overcome him and he couldn’t enter the Promised Land.
Why was this so grievous?
Christ was crucified once. He paid for all our sins once. Nailing him back up there, hitting the rock again says that what he did was not sufficient. It also insults God and indicates that he didn’t do enough to send his son as Savior of the world.
But what I never really got out of all these references was that it was one rock that followed them. In addition to the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, they had the rock which was Christ moving from place to place with the people.
Three different images for God traveled with the Israelites in the wilderness. Father, Son and Holy Spirit perhaps?
That, I don’t know for sure.
But it does say the Messiah was the rock. And in the desert, the dry and thirsty land, he made sure they had water.
Did Jesus think about this time when he spoke with the woman of Samaria?
A Sixty-Day Countdown to Christmas