“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).
Our Lord Jesus knew that he was born so that he could die a horrible death. One night, he pointed to a picture of himself hunging on the cross, to atone for our sins while talking to Nicodemus; one the pharisees – those who vehemently opposed Jesus. But Nicodemus seemed to believe in Jesus, and may have come at night because he was afraid to seen talking with Jesus by the other pharisees. He must have remembered their conversation when it happened just as Jesus had shown him. John tells us that Nicodimus joined Joseph of Arimathea in preparing Jesus body for burial after his crucification. Nicodimus had also tried to prevent the other pharisees from condemning Jesus, but it was difficult for him to do it alone.
During his conversation withNicodemus before he was crucified, Jesus reminded Nicodimus of the time when the children of Israel were in the wildness after leaving Egypt. They had been complaining again,as they had so often done in spite of Go’d goodness to them. They said they were tired of the bread God gave them, and thought nothing of the water he had provided when they were very thirsty. This was a sin, and sin had tobe punished, for they were under the old convenant. So because of their continued murmuring, God sent a great numbr of serpents amongst them.These were poisonous snakes, and not like those we occassionaly found around Ndothua.
The serpents managed to reach the outskirts of the camp and begun biting multitude of people. Those who were bitten died. A great cry went up tp Moses, for they saw and owned their sin, and begged him to pray to pray for them. Moses prayed, and God heard his prayers as he always does. He told Moses to make a serpent of brass like those that had bitten the people, and set high up on a pole so that all could see it. He said that anyone who was bitten could look at the brazen snake and live.
Moses made the brazen Serpent as quickly as he could, and set it up, so that those on the outside of the camp could see it. Then when anyone was bitten by the snakes and looked at the brazen snake, he lived (numbers 21:9). The remedy was very easy. They had to something which was quite easy. They had only to look. No even one of the Israelites who looked at the brazen serpent died from the snake bite. And it is so even now.
The remedy took the form of that which had done the damage.It was a serpent that bit them, and it was a brazen serpent that healed them. This was a picture of God’s plan. When God devised the plan by which he could give life, he “made him who had no sin to be sin for us.” We have found this to be true. If, having looked for ourselves and been healed, we want to help others, and point them to the one who was lifte up on the cross of calvary. In John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”