John 3:14–15: “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 eternal life.”

December 7th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

In the Old Testament, as the children of Israel traveled through the desert on their way to the Promised Land, God daily provided them with manna so that they wouldn’t starve. However, they soon forgot He was providing for them and began complaining. God disciplined them by sending venomous serpents into the camp, and many who were bitten died. Moses prayed, and God told him to make a bronze snake, mount it on a pole, and place it in the center of the camp. Then, everyone who looked at the snake was healed. By referring to this familiar story of the brass serpent in Numbers 21, Jesus was predicting His own death on the cross and the healing that would come through that death.

Ever since the Garden of Eden, the serpent has been recognized as a symbol of sin; and even though it sounds strange, the picture here illustrates that Jesus became sin (a serpent) for us. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). And again to the Galatians, he wrote: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Gal. 3:13).

When Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness, no matter how severely the people had been bitten or how deadly the poison, salvation was available. In the very same way, when we look to Jesus, who was “lifted up” on the cross for the sins of the world, no matter how diseased or broken we are, we will be saved.

“Thank You, LORD, for becoming sin for us. Help us to live in gratitude and usefulness to You this day.”