Look & Live!
John 3:13-15 “No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life”
What was Jesus referring to when He spoke about Moses and the bronze snake? Please read Num. 21:4-9. The background to this is, the people of Israel on their way through the wilderness became impatient and started grumbling. When people become impatient, they start to grumble. God became upset at their grumbling and impatience with Him. God expressed His anger to Moses and sent venomous snakes among them. The snakes began to bite and kill the people. So, Moses went to talk to God and the people cried to God, “Help us, take away the snakes from us. We will be patient with You, we will not complain. We promise we will be gentle with you.”
God did not take away the snakes, instead, He told Moses to set up a bronze image of the same kind of snake and hang it up. God told them He was not taking away the snakes, but anytime the snakes bite, if they look at the bronze serpent, they will be healed. And Jesus is saying, ‘the same way Moses lifted up the bronze serpent, if I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me’. Jesus was saying, the bronze serpent that was lifted up in the wilderness is a type of Christ. Similarly, God will not take away sin, or bad people, or stop bad things from happening in this world. But whenever you are hit hard, if you look at the cross of Calvary and see Jesus, you will be saved! We want God to take away the bad people, the bad things, and even our bad sinful nature. But God says, ‘No.’ The bronze serpent was an image that was burned in the collective memory of all Israel. John 12:32 “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”
This new birth comes when Jesus is lifted up and we look to Him and believe in Him. This born of the water and of the Spirit will happen when Jesus is lifted up and we look to Him and believe in Him. Boom – we become born of the water and of the Spirit. Huge! Some people would want us to believe that it is until you are baptized in water before this can happen. Do not get me wrong, baptism is important, but it does not save you. What saves you is your faith in the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Jesus was saying to Nicodemus, like the Israelites in the wilderness, anyone who looks to the cross of Calvary in obedience and faith will find new life. So, when the serpent strikes, when the world hits, when sin takes over and strikes. Jesus is saying, ‘Look to Me and live.’ When you look to Jesus, you live. When you take your eyes off Him, you die. It was a big statement to be made. Jesus was barely thirty years old and Nicodemus was probably in his fifties going by criteria for admittance into the Sanhedrin. Think about it; if someone twenty years younger than you says to you, look to me and live. What would you think? We can begin to understand the struggle of these people. It wasn’t that they were just mean people, but Jesus was very offensive, really.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I fix my eyes on You and You alone, cause me to experience Your salvation, in Jesus Name. Amen!