“And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.” John 3:14-15
I was flipping through the channels a couple nights ago and stopped at the “animal planet” channel for some reason. There was a scary story about a gal who had a poisonous snake for a pet. Long and short was that she got bit feeding the thing and the rest of the story was a race to save her life. (I never did hang on to the end so I don’t know if she survived.) The picture that keeps playing in my mind (besides the snake looking into the camera!) was a cellular look at her blood stream with this poisonous venom spreading and racing through all the cells. Ugh!
Other than confirming my suspicions about pet snakes (or reptiles for that matter) that story came back to me as I was reading John 3 this morning. To think of so many Israelites with that same picture of venom cells racing through their blood stream resulting in death! (You can read the whole story in Numbers 21:4-9.) It’s a tough picture to swallow except that God provides a way out. He tells Moses to hang a replica of one of those nasty snakes on a post and people who have enough to faith to just take a peek at it will be healed.
Well, Jesus is the perfect remedy put on a post for me (and you)…and that’s a tough picture to swallow as well. Sin was killing me – just like those venom cells. It races through us and attacks the real living that God designed for us. God’s remedy is to give himself – in the Son. He allows himself not just to be a replica hung on a post – but to actually be my sin up there. Can I trust him that he’s carried every bit of my sin to the cross? Faith to look at Jesus is a stretch – it seems too easy.
1 Corinthians 1:23 says “So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.” (NLT) (I wonder how many Israelites thought it was nonsense to take a look at the snake Moses hung up…and believed it was nonsense right to their grave?)
“…so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.”