“And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:” (Exodus 4:2-4)
This rod of Moses; what is it? It became a serpent, but it could be picked up by Moses. Could only Moses have it? This rod of Moses; it brought only judgment and curses upon all who stood in its way. It had power over all other rods, for when they became serpents it swallowed them up. This rod of Moses; what was its power? It brought deliverance and life to all who followed. This rod of Moses; it is the rod or power of God (see Ex. 4:20: “… Moses took the rod of God …”).
This rod of Moses; it is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Like the cross, the rod was made from a tree. Scripture reveals to us that Jesus was cast down by men, just as Moses cast down the rod. It also shows us that Jesus become a curse for us so that we would be redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), just as the rod became a cursed being, the serpent (Gen 3:14).
Moses had the same reaction that every man, woman and child has to the cross of Jesus Christ: he ran from it. We run from the cross, too, because it seems so out of line with our ideas of who God should be.
God speaks to every man and says, “Take up your cross …”, just as he told Moses to put forth his hand and take it by the tail. It looks deadly (snakes should be picked up by the head, not the tail), but to all who take hold of the cross of Jesus Christ, it becomes the rod or power of God unto salvation and deliverance.
Not only Moses could use the rod, for it was Aaron that cast down the rod that became a serpent and ate up all the serpents of Egypt’s magicians. The cross will overcome every curse the enemies of God can place against you. The cross is for all who will take it by faith.
Like the rod of Moses, the cross will lead you out of bondage into freedom (see Ex. 14:16). Like the rod, the cross of Jesus Christ will bring you rivers of living water in the midst of a dry land (see Ex. 17:5), and it will be the power of God over the enemies of God (see Ex. 17:9). Like the rod of Moses, the cross will bring curses upon all who will try to stand before it, not humbling themselves. Only to followers will the blessings and not the curses come. “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” What a comfort to the believer is the cross of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God and the wisdom of God (see 1 Corinthians 1:18, 23-24).
Have you taken up the cross of Jesus Christ by faith? If not, then God still calls to you today to believe and pick it up. If you have taken it up, then the next step is to go and use the cross to help deliver others. Will you go as Moses did?