“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”Jn. 3:14-15
This obviously is an allusion to the Old Testament. An allusion coming out from Numbers 21:9 where after being bitten by God-sent fiery snakes because of their continuous grumblings, these stiff-necked Israelites felt sorry and implored God to take away the snakes. But God said to Moses, “well I’m glad that they repented of their griping and want I you to tell them, I hear what they say but I will not take the snakes away. You tell them this, when someone is bitten by one of those snakes, you make a bronze replica of that Serpent and put it on one of the the flagpoles of the tribes, and you tell those people who’ve just been bitten if they’ll look at that bronze replica they won’t die.” Now is that the stupidest thing you ever heard in your life? This might have been the stupidest thing God ever told them to do, got bit by snake and look at this replica. But they did and they didn’t die. That is just dumb. There’s no human rationale to this. But what is the issue here? The issue of the Old Testament and the issue of today is, do you believe what God says or not? That’s the issue. Now God told them something that was beyond their ability to comprehend and understand. It made no sense logically, no sense medically, except God said, “if you’ll trust Me and do this, I’ll provide deliverance”. And God proved true to His word. He is a trustworthy God.
Trusting your life to a Jewish Carpenter dying for treason 2,000 years ago might not make any sense to you as well. That He really is the only way to be right with God might be the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard in your life. But I submit to you, that isn’t how it works. It’s not making sense to you that’s the deal. It’s trusting in the promises of God and believing in His word, that’s the deal. “…as Moses lifted up…” Interestingly, this word “lifted up” is the same Greek word found for the ascension and found in Philippians 2:9 – “for God took Him and exalted Him…” In the same manner the bronze serpent was lifted up on a flagpole, so Jesus, the Son of God was lifted up in Calvary so that whosoever looks up to Him and believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (cf. Jn. 3:16).