And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14,15 ESV
When Jesus says this to Nicodemus he is referring to an incident that occurred during the Exodus when the Hebrews spoke against God and Moses concerning their displeasure with God’s provision for them. This incident can be found in Numbers 21:5-9.
God’s people were rebellious, so God sent serpents to bite them and they would die because of their rebellion (sin). Yet He did provide them a way to be saved from their plight. When the people repented, Moses prayed to God on their behalf and God commanded him to make a bronze serpent on a pole. From then on, when they were bitten and looked at the serpent on the pole they would live.
What Jesus is telling Nicodemus in this passage is that God is going to provide a way for His people to be saved from their plight once and for all. Jesus is speaking of His crucifixion, and that when Jesus is raised up on the cross he will provide a way to save His people from death for the sins they have committed. When they see Jesus crucified and believe in Him they will be given eternal life.
Read Acts 2: 14-41 to see how this lesson that Jesus taught came to fruition. “God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” Acts 2:24 When those that had believed the message that Peter was sharing they looked to the crucified Christ and were forgiven of their sins and given eternal life.
So today, look to the cross of Christ, the lifted up Jesus believe and obey the gospel call and gain salvation. Respond to Jesus the way the people in Acts 2 did. Repent of your sins and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman