Summary: Comparing the old with the new, As the Serpent was lifted up for a cure, Jesus was lifted up for our sins.
As Moses Lifted up the Serpent
John 3: 14/21
In these scriptures that I have read, we see the “heavenly things,” as before the earthly. But it is under a veil, and this is what Nicodemus didn’t understand about being born again. This is what Jesus had reference to in John chapter three and verse twelve, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how you will believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?”
Paul stated in the book of Romans chapter fifteen and verse four, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
For an example, Jesus said, ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man.” This is the reason that the word of God is such an amazing book. It gives to us, patterns, examples, types and shadows.
Because of sin, Jesus Christ came to redeem the lost by His death on the cross, while the children of Israel, stung by fiery serpents, were cured by looking to the Brazen Serpent. In these two events we observe the deadly and destructive nature of sin.
Ask the awakened consciences; ask the doomed sinners, they will tell you, regardless of how charming the allurements of sin may be, it bites like a snake. So Israel must we must look and be saved, and we must lift our eyes in faith to the Cross of Calvary.
The Brazen Serpent was God’s gift to Israel, and the shed blood of Jesus Christ; was God gift to mankind, and that my friend is the good news of the gospel.
The crucifixion of the Messiah is mentioned twice after Jesus spoke of heavenly things. We see it in the term “lifted up” in John chapter eight and verse twenty-eight, Jesus said, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”
And in John chapter twelve and verse thirty-two, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”
These scriptures give clarity to that which was veiled, concerning the Brazen Serpent, and the cross on which Jesus would die.
The venom of the fiery serpents, shooting through the veins of the rebellious Israelites, was spreading death in the camp. As the sins of Adam passed the sentence death on the human race.
In both cases the remedy was divinely provided. The Serpent of Brass lifted up on a pole for Israel and Jesus was lifted upon a rugged cross for the sinner.
The Israelites who were bitten by a fiery serpent would be cured by viewing the Brazen Serpent. There is always a remedy if man will search for it, and when we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him.
So by one man’s sin came death and by another Man’s sacrifice came life “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”
In both cases it is the directing of the eye to the uplifted Remedy where the cure can be found; in the one case the human eye, in the other the gaze of the soul by “believing on Him.” As in the ancient proclamation, “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22)
Think about it, the deadly bite of a serpent, yet cured by the Brazen Serpent. And the sting of sin, cured by the blood of the Lamb.
Such a stumbling-block to the Jews and to the Greeks foolishness, yet with faith in the crucified Nazarene, pardon and deliverance from eternal punishment can be found.
As the serpent was God’s ordinance for the cure of every bitten Israelite, so the Cross is for salvation to every repented sinner. Just one simple look at the Brazen Serpent, regardless of the distant, however weak and however undone brought an instant cure; even so, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ brought complete healing to the spirit, soul and body of man.
Sending Jesus into the world was God’s great gift of love. That whosoever believeth on him, with faith which works by love and holding fast our confidence will bring new life to the believer.
For God so loved…..What proclamation of the Gospel has been so oft on the lips of missionaries, preachers and teachers in every age since it was first uttered? What has sent such thrilling sensations through millions of mankind?