“Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that all who believe may have eternal life in Him.” —John 3:14-15
Serpents were killing the Israelite people (Nm 21:6). At God’s command, Moses made a bronze serpent to represent the real serpents that were killing the people, mounted it on a pole, and lifted it up. When the people looked at the lifted-up serpent, the Lord healed them of what was killing them (Nm 21:8-9).
Sin was killing people. Therefore, God sent a Man Who did not know sin, to be sin (2 Cor 5:21) to represent the sins that were killing the people. Our sins were mounted on a cross in the person of Jesus and lifted up (Col 2:14-15). “For our sakes God made Him Who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in Him we might become the very holiness of God” (2 Cor 5:21; see also 1 Pt 2:24). When the people looked at the lifted-up Jesus with eyes of faith, the Lord healed them of what was killing them (Jn 3:14-15).
Jesus’ death on the cross triumphs over our worst, most disgusting sins. Sin defeated us, but Jesus triumphed over our sins and won victory for us on the cross. The sins that had absolute power over us are now crucified! Therefore, “let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus” crucified (see Heb 12:2; Jn 3:14-15). He became sin that we could be healed and freed from sin. Repent! Be crucified to sin and to the world (Gal 6:14). Believe in Jesus’ crucified love and forgiveness.
Prayer: “I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God” (Gal 2:19-20).
Promise: “Because of this, God highly exalted [Jesus] and bestowed on Him the name above every other name.” —Phil 2:9
Praise: “We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You because by Your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”