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floating an iron ax...

In 2 Kings 6:1-7, there is a story of a floating ax…a miracle performed by Elisha that seems to the point. But really, this story is a foreshadow of the greatest story every told…a salvation story that has Jesus as the central character.

It starts simple, with Elisha’s people wanting to build a better place to meet. So with Elisha’s blessing and companionship, they went to the Jordan River to get logs and start the arduous process. It could be that they went to that river by happenstance, because it was the nearest one around, but when you see the story as a whole, there is much, much more. The Jordan river was the border to the promised land, the land that would inhabit all of God’s people. And it was this very river that encapsulated perfection in the Son of God when Jesus was baptized there. The Jordan River was undoubtedly a symbol of deliverance…“You are my hiding place, you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7

When the ax fell in the people cried out because it was borrowed. This meant that there would be a debt – a big debt – that they wouldn’t be able to pay. It was out of there means, a far cry from what they could afford. They were devastated. When all of humanity was under the cloak of sin, we too had too big a debt to pay…with no hope.

Yet in walks hope – in comes Elisha – a type of Christ. Elisha cut a stick and threw it in, in order to make the ax float again. Wood, making iron float? The impossible had become possible. The people were no doubt astounded at this miracle. And so one of the builders picked it up and took it out, replacing it on the ax handle, rejoicing that it was made whole again. Rejoicing that the debt had been paid. He was no longer a slave to a debt he couldn’t pay – he had claimed victory and was set free from the burden. And isn’t it so beautiful that it was a “stick” or wood, that our Savior was crucified on, and it was the man on that tree, the ultimate sacrifice, that would pay our debt, setting us free from a debt we couldn’t pay – reconciling us as sons and daughters of the Most High King.

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14


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