“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:14-15
Jesus was talking to a teacher of the law, Nicodemus, about being born again of the Spirit. And He reminds Nicodemus of what happened to the Nation of Israel in the wilderness. We find this story today in the Book of Numbers in chapter 21.
As the people followed Moses in the wilderness they became tired, hungry and thirsty. They began to complain and speak against God who led them out of a terrible situation in Egypt. As a result of their sin, God sent serpents among them and many people died from being bitten. The people realized their sin, and asked God for forgiveness. So, Moses prayed for the people and God answered. He told Moses to make a bronze serpent and set in on a pole and lift it up. Everyone who looked at it would be healed and saved.
Jesus was comparing Himself to the bronze serpent that was lifted up, and Nicodemus would have understood this. Jesus was telling Nicodemus that He was Messiah and that He needed to be “lifted up” on the cross to take away the sting of death and sin. Anyone who looks to Jesus and what He did on the cross and accepts Jesus as their Lord and Savior will be healed and saved. This is why He came. On this Good Friday, where do you find yourself looking today?
” ‘And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” – John 12:32-33