A Short Study of John 3:14
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.”
There can be no hope of salvation apart from the Lord Jesus Christ bearing the sins of His people in His body on the tree of Calvary. There was no other way to put away sin. The son of man MUST be lifted up. He bore all the sins of all God’s elect of all ages, fully satisfying Divine justice once for all.
The serpent is obviously a picture of God making Him sin for us who knew no sin…. Those stung by the fiery serpents of sin MUST look to the serpent on the pole to live (Numbers 21:8-9). Yet, in spite of God’s promise many Israelites died from the serpents. I can only think of one reason why anyone in the camp of Israel would not look to the serpent on the pole. They were too busy looking at the serpents on the ground and the wounds they had caused in their flesh. Grant it, poisonous snakes around your feet would be an alarming sight. But, God did not say; ‘try to avoid the snakes’, or ‘tend to your wounds’. No, He said look to the One on the pole and you shall live.
Do we not do the same thing today? We wallow in the guilt and shame of our sin, rather than looking to Christ. We try to mend the wounds of our sin, rather than looking to Christ. We set but rules and regulations to avoid the serpents on the ground, instead of looking to Christ.
So how do we view our sin? All we need to know about the evil of our sin is seen in what it took God to redeem us from it. There is no greater evidence of how God sees our sin than when He sheathed the sword of His Divine justice into the heart of His beloved Son. Herein is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins. Oh, that we could simply look to Christ and believe that in Him we are, “INDEED dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”