And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live. – Numbers 21:5-9 ESV
There is a refrain from those who want to believe, what THEY WANT TO BELIEVE in the Bible, and leave what they DON’T WILL TO BELIEVE. “The Old Testament has no value. God has a different nature in the New Testament”. The Bible is NOT some ‘buffet’, where you take what you want and leave what you don’t want. The old testament points to a savior, the NEW testament goes into that Savior- Jesus; HIS LIFE, HIS DEATH, HIS RESURRECTION and how HIS CHURCH was built. In the old testament we have many examples of CHRIST as the SAVIOR, the REDEEMER; Noah, Joseph, Jonah, Moses…and many others. And when stories from the OLD TESTAMENT are repeated in the NEW TESTAMENT, then we need to be aware of the IMPORTANCE of the “shadow”, the Christ-similarity, the PARALLEL of the story to our JESUS. This historical event had a double CHRIST FOCUS. Not only is MOSES an example of CHRIST, but also the SERPENT ON THE POLE, is additionally referencing Christ.
Leader, John remembered Jesus referencing this story and telling the disciples it was about HIM: Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. (John 3:14-15) Moses was the one who delivered the ISRAELITES from bondage. It was the final plague, and the PASSOVER, that SET THE CAPTIVES FREE. Read Exodus chapter 12 to be reminded of HOW JESUS IS THE PASSOVER LAMB; For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the LORD will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. (Exodus 12:23-25) It was the 10th plague, the killing of the FIRST BORN, that led the most powerful nation in the world to release their SLAVE workforce, with the bounty of Egypt in hand.
Conduit, in addition to Moses and his being a “kind of Jesus”, a picture, a shadow of HIM WHO WAS, WHO IS and WHO IS TO COME. Revelation says it is Jesus Himself who said this; “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8) “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” This is the 2nd SHADOW of our Savior. Notice the pattern: God saves, people complain and rebel against God, God judges and passes judgement and yet GOD STILL WANTS TO REDEEM, those who still attack HIM and HIS SERVANTS. This is God’s nature; long-suffered, merciful, full of grace, NOT WANTING ANY TO PERISH! The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) Hell was not created for man, but it was created for the Devil and the third of the angelic army that followed him being evicted from heaven. However some will choose an eternity apart from God, that is a LIVING HELL. God has made a way to spend eternity with Him, for man to be reconciled to the Savior and have RIGHT STANDING with our God: We must LOOK TO JESUS! looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)