By Talon Paul
In chapter 21 of Numbers, the Israelites set out on a journey from Mount Hor where they have been for some time since Aaron had died. As they were traveling, verse 4 says that they became impatient with YHWH and with Moses, and they began complaining about their hunger and thirst (have we seen this scenario before?). God punishes them by sending serpents to attack them and show them the error of their ways. Luckily for them, Moses intercedes for them. God commands Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole, and whenever the Israelites looked to the snake, they were healed from the venom of the snake.
The New Testament uses this illustration to describe Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross in John 3:14-16. It says that “the Son of Man must be lifted up”, talking about his crucifixion. The passage later says that “whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Just as the Israelites looked to the bronze snake to be healed from the venom of the serpents, so we too can look to Jesus and be healed from the venom (sin) of the Great Snake (Satan). Jesus has provided a way for us to be healed from the pain and hurt that sin brings into our lives. All we are commanded to do is look to him, believe in him, and obey his commands. Praise God for such a wonderful sacrifice that sets us free from Satan’s venom in our lives!