Tag Archives: serpent

Look and Live #2225

7 Therefore 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 Then the Lord said to Moses, “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.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.” (Numbers 21:7–9, NKJV)

This event in Israel’s history aptly illustrates salvation from sin and death (Rom. 6:23). They grumbled against God and Moses, which brought death into the camp. They confessed their sin and were told if a serpent bit them to look at the bronze serpent Moses made, and they would live. Their salvation from death becomes a figure of the Son of Man being lifted up on the cross to save humanity from sin (John 3:14-17). Israelites received God’s mercy and lived when they trusted and obeyed God’s command to look at the bronze serpent. Even so, sinners “look” at Jesus in faith by repenting and being baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:37-38, 41). By doing so, the sinner receives God’s redemptive mercy and is saved. Israel did not earn their deliverance from the deadly serpents; they trusted God and obeyed Him. The same is true for every sinner Christ saves (Heb. 5:9).

As Moses Lifted Up the Serpent #846

14  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15  that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:14–16, NKJV)

Like the serpent Moses lifted up in the wilderness to save Israel from deadly snakes, Jesus has been lifted up on the cross to save mankind from sin’s eternal death. When the Israelites were bitten by snakes, God required an action of faith on their part in order to live and not die. The bitten person would only live when he had faith to look at the serpent on the pole (Num. 21:8-9). Faith alone that God would heal the snake bite was not enough; they had to act in faith and look at the serpent on the pole. Likewise, belief in the Son of God as our Savior from sin requires more than a mere belief that He is the Christ, the Son of God (the demons believe as much, Jas. 2:19; Mk. 1:24, 34). Saving faith is an obedient faith. Without faith acting to repent of sins, confess faith in Christ and be baptized, one’s sins remain (read Acts 2:36-41; 8:35-39). Let us never forget that Christ is “the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him” (Heb. 5:9).