The Foreshadow of the Bronze Snake

Many times when I'm reading the New Testament, I read passages that refer back to the scriptures, the Old Testament. This happens over and over again. I used to skip over these passages and disregard, however, if the writer is putting certain pieces of scripture into the New Testament, take note.  There is great meaning that will help you further understand or challenge you deeper.  John 3:14-15 is one of those passages, it says,  

"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."

Context:  In John 3:14-15 Jesus is talking to Nicodemus who came in the middle of the night to find out more information on who Jesus was.  As a respected Jewish teacher, Nicodemus new the OT inside and out.  He knew all the scriptures. So Jesus makes reference to Moses and the Israelites in Numbers 21.  The Israelites have left Egypt and just had a great victory that God gave them over the Canaanites and it wasn't long before they lost their faith in God again and started complaining about God.  This isn't the first time they've complained during their Exodus but many times before it was because they were lacking in some way like water, food, etc. This time it was just a whiny complaint and it showed their unbelief in God, so God sent poisonous snakes as punishment.  The people cried out to God, God showed them mercy and instructed Moses to make a replica of the snake and attach it to the pole, lift it up and if the Israelites just look at it they will be healed.

The John 3:14-15 passage is amazing...Jesus is revealing a significant truth to Nicodemus.  The Bronze Snake (pole) foreshadows his body.  Jesus Christ himself is the fuller meaning. The Israelites were commanded to just  look to this pole to be healed of their sickness, their venomous bite. This simple act of looking to the pole showed their belief and obedience to God. Our world is full of poison, sickness and sin.  The devastation is everywhere creeping in on us, but Christ gives us the answer to overcome the worldly sickness.  He gives us himself, on a pole (wooden cross), dying to overcome it all and if we simply look to him, our hearts are healed and we are transformed.

Christ and his crucifixion and resurrection are what we need to look to each and every day to be reminded of his loving grace and mercy to save us from evil and bring us into His holy presence.  If we can always remember that, it's amazing how we can guard our hearts and mind from the world that surrounds us and focus on the mission he has before us.

Looking to the Cross...

Peace On Earth

Confession:  Just a few years ago I used to think the Christmas Story was boring, over told; however, I find it absolutely fabulous now.  And this is the Christmas Story of the bible... Not the movie with the bare legged lamp. Still find that a tish boring.  The truth story where God finally fulfills his promise. The promise that he constantly made in the Old Testament, even way back in Genesis.  Yes! Believe it God already had a plan in place as soon as sin entered into our world and he slowly revealed "clues" to us on who this savior would be.

  • Gen 3:15 we learn our savior will be a male
  • Gen 15 3-7 that he will be from Abraham
  • Gen 28:10ff he will be the Son of Man
  • Gen 49:10 from the tribe of Judah
  • Exodus 12 our Passover Lamb
  • 2 Samuel 7:16 from the line of David
  • Psalm 110 prince of peace
  • Isaiah 7:14 virgin birth

And more and more and more... Jesus' birth was one of the most anticipated moments in history because they have been talking about it for over 2000 years.  (Abraham lived around 2000BC).  So can you imagine when the Angel finally gets to say for the first time that their Savior was born how excited they were! 

"I bring you good news of great joy. The savior, yes, the messiah, the Lord has been born today..."

I'm pretty sure this angel had the perma grin on with tears of joy, hands lifted high full or worship and praise. This angel experienced a moment that is 10 times more joyful than any moment we will ever experience here on earth. He was finally able to announce the birth of our Savior.   Then to add to it a beautiful choir of angels come, a gospel choir, singing until their lungs burst,

"Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth and goodwill towards men."  Luke 2:14

Those words they sang fulfilled the promise the Jews were waiting for. Peace.  Finally peace. God is going to redeem his people. Save them from the Roman rule. Make them into the nation they once were under King David's reign. They were to rule again.

Wrong.

We know now because it's easy to look back that God was bringing a much greater peace. A type peace man can't provide. A peace that was incomprehensible then.  Jesus provided a way to restore his people with God.  A relationship that Adam and Eve broke was finally being mended and not just mended. Made whole. Jesus, this tiny baby, came as the ultimate sacrifice.  He came to cover our sins so sin no longer separated us from our Holy God. We know longer had to go to a High Priest to sacrifice and use him as our mediator with God as it was in the OT.  Jesus became that High Priest for us. (Hebrews 4:14ff)

So as this Christmas season comes on us and these stories are read. Take a deep breathe, even close your eyes,  and relish in the words that were sung by the Angels "Peace on Earth."  God kept his promise and has restored us to him so we can feel the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. We are no longer separated from the God Almighty but have him, the Holy Spirit, living within us.

And knowing that he fulfilled a promise he made 2000 years earlier gives me so much hope that he will keep his promise to restore us to him in Eternity.

Let his peace guide you this Christmas.