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 “Look to Me”

Isaiah 45:22 (NKJV)


Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)




OD declared the mysteries of his hidden power long ago to the people who left Egypt and wandered in the fearsome wilderness. One of these mysteries was revealed when Moses found himself in a very uncomfortable position. The people were moving night and day through desolate hollows never before entered by man, and along the way they were attacked by snakes. The word the Bible uses to describe them, venomous,[1] refers to something extremely harmful and lethal. The casualties multiplied. The people cried out to Moses, and Moses cried out to the Lord to save his people. So God commanded a snake of bronze that looks like the snakes to be made and raised up on a pole. Then came the wonderful and mysterious command that to this day rings in our ears; whoever is bitten by a snake must raise their eyes to the bronze snake, and they will be immediately healed. Let not the reader miss the symbolic hidden meaning. The snake represented the coming Lord Jesus who would crush the head of the snake through the mystery of the cross, which is today the pole of our salvation.

The bronze snake is the symbol of the ancient serpent Leviathan who brought down Eve and Adam in disobedience to God. Its bite was lethal for it left within the nature of Eve and Adam and their descendants the gene of sin. A foreign element, it entered to murder people, all people, and it passed from fathers to children, leaving no one. In this, man’s entire case stands before God. God resolved to free man from the sting of the ancient serpent Leviathan, Satan; to free him from sin, which is the incurable sting of the snake. The sting is sin itself, the discharge of the Satan gene by which all of human nature is poisoned. He did this by sending his holy Son to be born of a holy virgin selected from the entire human race in order for God to do in her an extraordinary work of sanctification and purification. Never touched by a man, God chose her to breathe into her womb her fetus made divine by the Holy Spirit. She was pregnant for nine months and gave birth to a son who is the Son of God and his holy one who is unique in his holiness. Christ called himself ‘the Son of Man,’ and at his true core he is the Son of God.

God worked through him, the holy Son of the Holy One. He willingly carried a burden not naturally his own, the sting of the serpent, which is the sin of mankind in its entirety and without exception. Christ carried it in his body, following severe resistance with cries and tears before the Father and men, asking God to release him from drinking the cup of the poisonous sin of man. He fulfilled dying, though he is the living God who does not die. His death in the body made atonement, not for himself but for all mankind, all the sinners of the earth without exception. Christ died, and with him the gene of sin, all sins, died in his body. Christ died bodily, and with his death he killed the gene of sin. He obliterated it completely. When he completed the duties of death and crushed its roots and branches, he rose from the dead by the glory of the Father. His body rose free from the stench of death, and his risen body became the body of all mankind, purified and made holy.

In contrast to that which has a beginning, here we come to the origin of the symbol and its mighty strength. The bronze snake in its now obsolete days was a source of immediate healing to the one who, bitten by a snake, looked to it. So as Christ hung on the pole of the cross, in his body he killed the gene of sin. Christ gives of his power, divinity and holiness to whoever looks to him, and no matter what trouble the enemy may have brought upon him, he embraces him by his Spirit and immediately shields him from Satan.

This remains man’s one refuge when the enemy surrounds him to prey upon him.

The same thing has happened in our day, and we have heard the story with our own ears. A woman named Phoebe was chased by the police who were intent on fulfilling their orders to slaughter her. As she was running here and there, terrified, Christ appeared to her and simply said, ‘Fear not; look to me.’ As is now well known privately and publicly, she looked and was miraculously saved.

September 28, 2005


Father Matta El-Meskeen

Christ is the Father’s Offering to Humanity

[The Holy Spirit sanctified Mary and made from her a kind of ‘human dough’.  Then the Holy Spirit cut out of this lump of dough a piece that was set aside for the Son alone.  This dough combined with Christ’s divine nature to become holy bread, which was handed over to the race of sinners.  So sinners, in spite of their [sinful] nature, could lift up this bread on the cross as an offering for themselves.

Mary was wise enough to keep the secret of the Holy Bread to herself until the time came to offer it.  When the time approached, it was as if she said to Christ: “Show yourself!”  Today, we gather around the manger to rejoice with the [one who is the]  Bread of our life and the Power of our priesthood, through whom we have boldness to approach God’s throne.]

Excerpt from St Mark, Monthly Review, Dec 1998.


[1] Numbers 21:4-9.

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