“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.'”
The sins of the people put them under the curse. One by one, they watched as their loved ones fell ill and died. At some point, they realized there is no cure for the plague and they beseech Moses to seek God for the solution. As Moses cries out to the Lord, he is instructed to forge a brass serpent on a pole. Any who look upon the serpent will be healed. One only need use a little imagination to understand the joy which filled the hearts of all who would look upon the pole. Instantly, the effects of the curse were removed and they were safe. At the same time, imagine the folly of one who is plagued and yet refuses to look. Imagine his friends and loved ones, who had been on the verge of death themselves, but they looked upon the pole and were redeemed. They plead with him to simply look. They might declare, “I was once as your are, sickly and dying, but I looked upon the pole and I have been healed and my life restored.” Imagine the heartache of mothers, brothers, sisters, fathers and friends, as some, with obstinate hearts refuse to look, and as a result, suffer death under the curse.
Years later, under the veil of the night sky, Jesus met with a religious leader who was interested in understanding the ways of Christ. During their conversation, Jesus referred to the serpent in the wilderness and compared it to His work on the cross.
“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.”
God has made salvation as simple as looking at a serpent on a pole. All we must do is look to the cross, believing we are sinners, and Christ is the Savior. When we do, ALL the effects of the curse are removed. We are no longer under the wrath of God, but are the recipients of His divine favor and blessing. Sin that kept us from God, has been removed, we are forgiven, and given eternal life.
Imagine the folly of those who refuse to believe. Those who continue under the curse, heading toward eternal destruction, all because they refuse to look to the cross. Do not be among those who remain under the curse, to your own destruction, and to the anguish of those who love you. Look to the cross and have your sins forever forgiven.
Sadly, as time moved forward, Israel took the serpent on a pole and made it into a religious relic. People even began to bow down to the pole and worship it. The same thing is true of the cross. Rather than seeing the cross for what it is; the way of salvation for all who believe, many look to the cross as a religious symbol. We see crosses as jewelry, artwork and tattoos. We should see the cross as a reminder of the fact that God alone can save us from the curse.