In our sermon text today, we saw that God turned the bitter water of Mara into sweet waters. This is very reminiscent of the first miracle of Jesus where at Mary’s request Jesus turned the water of purification of the Jews into wine for the wedding feast at Cana. There are perhaps a number of different ways of seeing Jesus in our story, but it cannot escape our notice that God turns bitter waters into sweet waters through the means of a tree. We of course remember that it was at a tree that our first parents, Adam and Eve, plunged this world into sin and death. From then on this world was cursed, harsh, and bitter. We might remember that it was in the flood that an ark built out of many trees saved Noah and his family (and Peter says that was a picture of baptism). Likewise, it was Moses’ rod, a branch from a tree that struck the waters of Egypt and turned them to blood and brought the plagues on Egypt. And now here a tree brings cleansing and purity to bitter waters. In Isaiah 11 it says that “there shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him…” But it goes on describing the conquest of this Messiah: “The LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Sea of Egypt; with His mighty wind He will shake His fist over the River, and strike it in the seven streams, and make men cross over dry-shod. There will be a highway for the remnant of His people who will be left from Assyria, as it was for Israel in the day that he came up from the land of Egypt.” The Messiah will perform a new exodus, he says. And following this it says “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’” Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” This is of course the Song of Moses, a new Song of Moses for the new exodus performed by the Messiah. But instead of bringing his people into a desert with bitter water, this time he brings them to a good land with deep “wells of salvation” where they drink with joy. All of you who have passed through the Red Sea in baptism, you who have walked through the flood on dry ground, this meal is for you. These are not bitter waters; they have been made sweet through the tree of the cross.
Deep Wells of Salvation
Deep Wells of Salvation | Having Two Legs