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. John 3:14-15 NLT
This is the Gospel. God is holy and must deal with our sin. God is also love and offers us mercy. To receive it, we must turn from our sin through repentance and look to Christ.
The last thing the Israelites wanted to do was to look at a snake, a brass likeness lifted high up on a pole. Seeing the snake reminded them of the curse God had brought upon them because of their grumbling. Only some were willing to look at it – and live. The rest chose to nurse their grudge against God for whatever reason or they felt God’s remedy was preposterous and refused to humble themselves. They chose death over life.
The last thing any of us want to do is look at the gruesome scene of a crucifixion, to someone lifted up high on a cross. Couldn’t there be some other extension of mercy than to have to look to Jesus, beaten and bruised, suffering unspeakable horrors? Anything else would be easier to take. Only some are willing to look to Him – and live. The rest choose to nurse their grudge against God for whatever reason or they feel God’s remedy of His only Son is preposterous and they refuse to humble themselves at the foot of the cross. They choose death over life.
This is ultimately a love story. Bitten by sin, we all face a death sentence. We are cursed. There is only one remedy and we don’t get to decide how we’ll be saved. But the One who does decide is a Savior who loves us ~ so much so that He was willing to take our curse upon Himself and die in our place. He was hung, high and lifted up, on a cross. Our curse was put on Him and He was despised, shamed, and rejected. Oh, but when we look to Him, consider and then repent of our sin, we live.
Jesus, sometimes the power of the story of the Gospel washes over my soul in a fresh way. This moment is one of them. Thank you. Always, you are high and lifted up. Amen