As we come before the Lord this morning, let’s look at an incident in the journeys of the nation of Israel that Jesus cited as a picture of His work of redemption on the cross of Calvary. God’s plan of redemption for fallen man did not simply appear in the New Testament; it has been His plan from all eternity. This glorious plan of salvation by grace through faith that we read about in the book of Galatians was actually preached unto Abraham, for we read: “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, ‘In thee shall all nations be blessed.’” (Galatians 3:8; Genesis 12:3) There are so many wonderful pictures of the cross in the Old Testament beginning in Genesis 3:15 and running through Malachi that it would take an entire year to mention them all!
Today we will be looking at the incredible account of when the Israelites were being bitten by poisonous serpents and dying. Knowing that it was due to their sin against God and Moses, they cry to God to take the serpents away. God does not remove the serpents, but He uses them to be the instrument that gets their attention on His one and only remedy for sin. God told them that when the serpent bit them, if they simply would look to a serpent of brass that Moses would lift up on a pole, they would live and not die (Numbers 21:4-9). Some may say that is ridiculous! How can looking at a piece of brass shaped like a serpent prevent a person from dying from a poisonous snake bite? Here is how and why it would work — because God said it would! No command of God is ridiculous to the person who walks by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Jesus used this incident to explain the new birth to a religious teacher in Israel (John 3:1-18). The salvation of God that grants forgiveness of sin magnifies His grace and humbles fallen man’s pride and self righteousness, for it is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone that we are saved from our sin debt and made new creatures (Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). In God’s plan of salvation, Christ does all the work (Hebrews 10:1-17; John 17:3). We are simply told to look unto Him and be saved (Isaiah 45.22).
Reader, have you trusted in Christ alone for the sin debt that you owe to God? “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) One look of faith will change your life forever (1 John 5:11-13). Look to Jesus today, my friend.