Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
I am currently reading 1st Corinthians in the Message paraphrase of the Bible. Reading chapter 10, this struck me for the first time, "They drank from the Rock, God's fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ."
Now, that being the case, some things about the story of Moses striking the rock to provide water for the Israelites take on new meaning and significance. The first time, Moses was commanded to strike the rock so water would flow out. Jesus, our Rock, was struck down to provide us with the living water of redemption and resurrection power.
However, the second time Moses was commanded to speak to the rock to get water. He was angry at the people because of all their grumbling and complaining, so he struck the rock. God, in His infinite mercy, knowing the people would perish without water, provided it. However, he punished Moses severely, telling him he would never enter the Promised Land.
I always thought that was a little harsh. After all, it was a rock we were talking about here. Who talks to rocks? What would you say to a rock if you did talk to it? "Hey there rock, could you give me some water?" It sounds pretty ridiculous, since rocks, by their very nature, don't have water to hand out, especially in a desert.
However, if the Rock was Jesus, in both cases, then what a picture of our relationship to Him! Jesus was struck once to give us water. If we feel spiritually dry, there is no reason for us to grumble and complain, like the Israelites, or strike out at Jesus, like Moses. We have only to speak to the Rock, and He will grant us rivers of living water, springing up to eternal life.
What an affront that was, after all, for Moses to treat Jesus the way he did! Jesus, the Rock, had already been struck once and for all, to provide water for the people. To continue using that method, subjecting Christ to further unnecessary abuse, out of anger or, worse, because it had worked once and should work again, is unpardonable! Moses punishment of not setting foot in the Promised Land is merited when I consider what he did in that light.
So, speak to the Rock. The Living Water, won through the striking of Jesus at the Cross, is ready and waiting to gush forth and slake your thirst for eternal life.