The Israelites had been slaves in the land of Egypt for hundreds of years and God sent Moses (used Moses) to deliver them out of bondage and lead them to the promised land – Canaan.
Now, somewhere along the way, as they journeyed from Mount Hor (where Aaron the high priest, Moses’ brother died), something happened. Numbers 21:4-9 reads:
“Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses; ‘Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthles bread.’ So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Isael died.
Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you;pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.
then the LORD said to Moses, ‘make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”
So, vicious and highly vernomous snakes appear and begin to bite the Israelites, God tells Moses to make a brazen serpent and instructs him to tell the aflicted to look at it in order to live. Friends, this wasn’t the time for human logic, it was not the time to start quetioning how such a simple, unscientific solution would work. It was time to apply or exercise faith, a time to cease all other attempts to save oneself from the snakes. Only God’s way was sufficient.
In John chapter 3 verses 14 and 15, Jesus, referring to the death He was to die on the cross, said, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man [Jesus] be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” So the serpent on the pole was a type (symbol) of Jesus Christ snd what he was going to do for man. We too sholdn’t waste time trying to save ourselves from sin which, the vernom from the snakes, leads to death. We should exercise faith and accept Jesus as our Saviour and LORD and eternal life will be granted us.
“But why use a serpent which is associated with sin and evil to represent Jesus?” one may ask. In 2 Corrinthians 5:21, the Bible says, “for He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Peter 2:24 tells us that Jesus bore our sins in “His own body on the tree [cross]. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and suffered the punnishment for us. Sin separates us from God (see Isaiah 59:2). On the cross, with our sins placed on Him, Jesus experienced the separation and cried out, “My God, My God why have You forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46).
Great was the sacrifice and great is God’s love towards us. While we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us – we did nothing to deserve this but He did anyway. We, however, can only benefit from this sacrifice if we accept Jesus Christ as our saviour and allow Him to be LORD of our lives. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, shall live.” John 11:25.
Lets allow Jesus to be our LORD and Saviour while we still have the opportunity to do so. There is no sin too big for God to forgive. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from al unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9.