Steven A. Bush - August 6, 2023

Jesus: The Snake On The Pole

Numbers 21:6-9 tells of another sad event in Israel's wilderness journey following another episode of grumbling: "Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And 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. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live." (ESV) Just a handful of verses and then Moses' narrative seems to quickly move on. But does this desert drama point to anything else, in the future even? In His famous evening meet-up with Nicodemus, Jesus says this in John 3:14-16: "And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life. For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." (NLT) Referring to the cross He'd soon bear, Jesus becomes the snake on the pole! Those bitten and poisoned by sin and facing certain death, can now look to their Savior dying for their sin, absorbing its just punishment, receive His record of righteousness, and live forevermore! So that deadly serpentine drama in the desert was pointing to Christ Jesus our Lord, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Our sin included!!

Scripture References: Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:1-18, John 4:9-10, 2 Kings 18:1-6

Sermon Notes

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