Today’s Scripture: And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. Numbers 21:8-9
All throughout the camp, the children of Israel were suffering and dying. In their pain they confessed their sin, crying out to Moses and asking him to pray to God on their behalf. God told Moses to design a serpent out of brass and put it on a pole. If the people looked to it, they would live and not die.
Why a serpent, and why on a pole? This was a symbol, so God could show a picture of what would happen in the future with Jesus. The serpent deceived Eve. Galatians 3:13 tells us, “…cursed is everyone who hangeth on a tree.”
Jesus on the cross is the equivalent of the serpent on a pole because He became sin for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that Jesus had no sin. The serpent on the pole had no venom. The serpent on the pole was not the cause of sin, but it was a symbol of sin. The serpent on the pole was a symbol of the mess caused by sin; Jesus on the cross was a symbol of how we can get out of that mess.
Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness; people looked, and they lived. They were healed instantly. When people look upon Jesus and say, “He is my only hope, He is my only salvation,” they are saved for all eternity.
All the sins that we could ever commit were put upon Jesus, but He had no sin. He was made sin for us. The famous hymn writer, Philip Bliss, put it this way:
Lifted up was He to die, ‘It is finished!’ was His cry.
Now in Heaven exalted high, Hallelujah! What a Savior!
It wasn’t the brass that saved the Israelites. It wasn’t sorrow or prayer. It was believing in God. Today, there is still salvation available to all who will believe. Have you put your faith in the one and only begotten Son of God? If not, I beg you – don’t delay!
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.