Thursday, July 17, 2014

Look and Live

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:14-15

In Numbers 21 it talks about the serpent in the wilderness.  The people had become bitter against God because they didn't like the wilderness, and started to complaint that even the captivity and slavery of Egypt was better.  For their complaining, God sent fiery snakes that would bite them, and when they were bitten they would die.  (Why a serpent?  Go back to Genesis and you'll see the serpent lead to sin.) Finally the people repented, and God gave Moses a cure.
The cure was for Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole and lift it up.  Whenever anyone was bitten, all they had to do was look to the snake that Moses had raised, and they would live.

Look and live.  It's simple.  But that look was one of faith - knowing that God would do what God said He would do.  Those that looked weren't gazing at the pole in doubt.  They weren't admiring the color of the pole and the artistry of the snake Moses made.  They were looking knowing that it would save them.
Jesus said that just as the serpent was raised in the wilderness, He would be lifted up as well.  Later on, he was nailed to the cross, and the cross was raised to stand tall on Mt. Calvary.  Those of us who look to Him to take away our death sentence (Romans 6:23) are given eternal life, and the death sentence is revoke.  But just looking to Jesus in doubt doesn't do it.  Admiring the church for the way it looks, the artistry of the building, the fellowship of the people, the potluck dinners - that doesn't do it.  To look to Jesus, we have to do what the Israelites first did - before Moses was given the cure.  We have to repent from the cause of our death sentence.

The wages of sin (anything that displeases God is sin), is death (Romans 6:23).  A repentant heart is one that desires change, one that is broken over the things done that were wrong.  It doesn't mean we are perfect, but it means we desire to be better. 

Look to Him and live.  It's not complicated.


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