“And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that He take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” Numbers 21:6-9 (KJV)
The people were complaining, murmuring about the bread that came from heaven, which they had called “Manna” which means “what is it?”. It seems to me that people of today, even professing Christians have grown tired of the Bread from heaven. He is Jesus our Lord and Saviour.
Due to the murmuring of the people of Israel God sent fiery serpents into the camp; and these serpents bit them, and many of these murmurers died. Their deaths were due to their conspiracy with sin to overthrow God’s very means of their sustenance. Murmuring, ungratefulness, says to others and to God, “I know what is best for my life, and this is not it”.
When I first began studying the Bible I came to this verse, and I knew that it was a type, a picture of the sinner looking to Jesus on the cross, and being delivered from sin. My question was, “How does a serpent represent my Saviour?” The study continued until I discovered 2 Corinthians 5:21, then I had the answer. God made Jesus to be sin for us… that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, became on the cross the very thing that His Father hated and despised; and took the holy judgment and wrath that only myself, and the whole human race was responsible for. If I would have died for my own sin; if you were to die for your own sin, then there would not be eternal life; but eternal death, and dying torment.
By looking to Jesus, His death, burial and resurrection we can look unto Him and live eternally in the presence of God, and in His glory.
Hear the words of Jesus Himself,
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15