Few people like snakes. I don’t. So no wonder when God had enough of Israel’s constant complaining He sent serpents among them. They had grumbled about many things in their journey in the wilderness. They had failed to trust God. Now finally the Lord had reached His limitations with their complaining. He sent fiery serpents among the people and many of the people were bitten and died (Num. 21:5-9).
God instructs Moses to make a Fiery Serpent
The fiery serpents quickly got their attention and changed their ungrateful attitude. They repented and went to Moses, seeking deliverance. Moses went to the Lord and He gave them the antidote. “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live” (Num. 21:8).
How could a Bronze Serpent save Anyone?
Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. God provided the supernatural deliverance. It simply required faith of the one bitten to look to the pole. It was the only remedy. Would you have believed God and looked to the pole?
Jesus uses the Serpent with Nicodemus
About 1,400 years later Jesus would use this same illustration in a conversation with Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a very religious man and an important teacher in Israel. Jesus told him that you must be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven. Nicodemus was perplexed. He didn’t understand.
Salvation in the Picture of the Serpent Lifted Up
So Jesus explained, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:14, 15). All of us have been bitten by a snake. It’s called sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Have you Looked in Faith?
Knowing you will go to heaven is as simple as one look of faith to the Person and work of Jesus Christ. It’s not dependent on how much faith you have. It’s the object of your faith that is significant. Jesus, fully God and fully Man, died for our sins; was buried; and rose again. The Israelite that looked to the pole when bitten, lived. Similarly when one looks to Jesus for deliverance, he or she is immediately saved from sin’s bite, eternal death; and receives everlasting life (John 3;16; 6:47). He’s the only way to survive the snakebite of sin!
I invite you to follow me as I continue to explore God’s amazing grace and eternal security for all who have believed the gospel!