The Israelite people grumbled – AGAIN – against Moses and God, “We hate this horrible manna you deliver each day.” So God sent them poisonous snakes, instead, and many were bitten and died, and their grumbling turned to prayer. So 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.” 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 21:8-9). How odd, though, that God would use a serpent to save the people. Haven’t serpents represented evil and the devil since the Garden of Eden?
Interestingly, Jesus uses the imagery of Moses’s bronze serpent to illustrate his death on the cross: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (John 3:14). God had instructed Moses to make a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole where the people could see it. All who looked at the bronze serpent would be healed of the deadly bites of very real serpents.
But why a serpent? The bronze serpent on the pole foreshadowed Jesus on the cross. As God used a serpent to heal the people of the venom of serpents, on the cross Jesus became sin to heal us of the deathly venom of sin.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ~2Corinthians 5:21
My Savior, You and You alone came to my rescue. Only You could and only You would. Your love is so deep that you went to the cross because of and in spite of my rebellion. God, I repent. I turn away from the old way of life and I will follow You. Teach me what is right and good, and change me to love purity and live generously.
You not only saved me from my sins, but You made me holy. I’m different now, and it’s a good difference. I desire Your pleasure more than anything else. You are my Lord, my Savior, my God.