Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.-John 3:14-15
What is Jesus talking about here when he says “just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up”? Jesus is referencing an event that occurred in the history of the people of Israel prior to their crossing of the Jordan and their taking of the promised land. This event is recorded in Numbers 21:4-9. “They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” Jesus became our version of the bronze snake in this story from the history of the people of Israel. Just as their sins caused them to die, our sins cause us to die. However, God has provided us a way to break the hold of sin and death on our lives. Just as those Israelites who chose to look upon that snake on the pole were saved from death, so those of us who have chosen to accept God’s gift on salvation in the form of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection will be saved from the power of sin of death.