"And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up…" (John 3:14)
So much of the New Testament is rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). But honestly, I never thought I would be comparing Jesus to a poisonous desert snake. Both are lifted up on a wooden stick in order to save the chosen people. Let me explain.
In Numbers 21:6-9, the people of Israel are wandering in the wilderness. Amidst their many other trials and tribulations, they were overwhelmed by large numbers of poisonous snakes. Many were bit and dying, or already dead. The people cried out to Moses to intercede with God for help. God instructed Moses to craft a snake and place it on the end of a pole. When the people were bit, if they gazed upon the snake on the pole, they would live.
The Son of Humanity, Jesus, was placed on a pole (cross) and all of us who gaze upon it will be saved. Instead of snakes, we contemporary people have other things that poison our faith. We are bit with corporate corruption, treating women like objects, economic disparity, etc., etc., etc. But when we gaze upon the cross in faithful trust, God will save us.
It is so easy to get disappointed, then bitter, then soulless. We can feel "snake bit" so often, we can suffer the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We live in an unfair and unjust world. The only way to live amidst the snakes around every corner is to continually turn toward the Cross.
Today, thank God again for giving us the opportunity to gaze upon Christ's divine sacrifice on the cross. In a world full of snakes, God still wants we humans to live, now and for eternity. How can one not love God, when we consider the lengths God will go to save us? Ask God to give you the strength and faith to face down the snakes, and meet each new day with hope and trust.