The Uplifted Serpent Sign


Nicodemus , a ruler of the Jews, came to visit Jesus during the early days of his ministry in Judea. He said to Jesus, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." Jesus startled him with a discourse on his need to be born again by the sovereign work of the Spirit. He then gives Nicodemus this sign which explains how it is possible for God to forgive sinners and have access to God. "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.' John 3:14-15
This was a reference to what happened the wilderness days of the Hebrews in route to the Promised land. When they grumbled and spoke against Yahweh and Moses God visited them in judgment by poisonous snakes that bit thousands who died. The people beg Moses to ask God to take the snakes away and that the punishment. God told Moses to make a bronze snake image and put it on a pole so that when a person was bitten by a serpent he could look on the snake imaged on a pole and live. (Numbers 21:4-9)Jesus told Nicodemus this was sign pointing to him. It was a prophecy of his destined death by crucifixion when he would take the judgment due his people and when they looked to him in faith they would live . He will some 3 1/2 years later speak his being lifted up to some Greeks who came seeking him. (John 12:32-34) Paul explains the meaning of Jesus death in terms that explain the divine transaction that took place with Jesus in 2 Corinthians 5: 19, 21 In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them. ...For our sake he made him to

Feb 7, 2024
John 3:1-15; Numbers 21:4-9
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