“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” John 3:14,15
In Numbers 21 we read about the Lord sending fiery serpents among the people to bite them. What a drastic thing to do. However, it did have its foreseen affect upon the people. Their repentance.
Sometimes God must take drastic measures to get His peoples attention. To grab their heart. To turn them around. Jesus says in John 3 that this event in Numbers was a foreshadowing of what He would do on the cross. All who would come to the bronze serpent up on the pole and look upon it would be saved. What an unusual way to save someone. And, - how does that foreshadow Christ? Simply looking upon Him will do the trick?
Far too many times when we read events as the serpent on the pole, we only view it from a physical or mental stand-point. We must remember that Scripture is for our instruction and training. There are always deep spiritual truths in every story found in Scripture.
One of those truths from this story found in Numbers 21 is that first the people had to repented of the sin of grumbling against God and Moses. Second, God instructed Moses to make and place the bronze serpent up on a pole and all who were bitten and came to look at the serpent would be saved. Do you see the spiritual truth here. The people had to believe and follow the instructions of God. That believe in, and the execution of, those instructions (God’s word) would save anyone who carried them out. It’s called, acting in faith.
Now. Flash forward several hundred years to John 3
Jesus said like the bronze serpent, He also would be lifted up. And whoever “believes” would have eternal life. Believe what? Believe He existed? Believe He died on a cross? Believe He was a great man? or a good teacher?
No! A thousand times No!
One must believe what God says about Jesus. The instructions of God. In the Old Testament story of the bronze serpent and now in the New Testament story of the Christ. God’s word must be received, believed and acted upon.
A man must believe that God put Jesus on that cross for their personal sin. One must come to that cross in his heart and mind and see Jesus there paying sins debt. One must believe that without that cross they are still in their sin and will die in it. Also, one must first of all, repent of their sin, in order to find salvation and eternal life.
So, in your bible studies my brothers look for and discover the deep truths of God. Matthew 13:45,46
From Your Pastor
Bro. Clay Hicks