Numbers 21-22: Jesus the serpent?

There are many ways that we think of Jesus. The Lion of Judah. The Lamb of God. The Rose of Sharon. The Son of Man. The Messiah. The Great High Priest… to name a few. but how many of us remember Jesus as the bronze serpent? Not many I am guessing. But The unusual story below is used by Jesus Himself to draw attention to His own saving power. Read these verses from Numbers 21:

[4] From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. [5] And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” [6] Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. [7] And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. [8] And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” [9] So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.
(Numbers 21:4-9 ESV)

So, as usual, the people complain, and God punishes them for their grumbling, this time, by sending snakes. The remedy for salvation is unusual. God does not take the snakes away. Instead, he has Moses make a weird stake statue that serves as mediating savior. The people needed only to look to the serpent and they would be saved from the snakes. Then, in the most famous passage in the whole BIble, we read these words:

[14] And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, [15] that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. [16] “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:14-16 ESV)

Moses lifted up the serpent so the people might look to it and be saved. God lifted Jesus up on the cross so that all who look to Him, because God loved the world so much that He made a way for us to be saved out of our sins.

What an amazing God we have who saves us because He loves us! Let us look to Christ lifted up and be saved.

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