The Bronze Serpent
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.”” (Numbers 21:8, NASB95)
The fiery serpent (named such because it was made of bronze which shone brightly in the sun) was a type, or foreshadow, of Jesus on the cross. We know this because Jesus told Nicodemus that, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (John 3:14, NASB95). Had it not been for this declaration by Jesus, we might never know that there was a salvation message in this wilderness episode. This reminds us that we cannot fully know the Old Testament without knowing the New Testament, and vice-versa.
What about the serpent gives us insight into the work of Christ on the cross? The serpent was made of copper and tin, mixed together to make bronze. Copper is a metal, tin is an element. These earthly materials were mixed together to make an image of the source of the problem. When those who were bit by the serpent, they would look upon the image of the source of their problem, and would be healed. In Jesus, God became the earthly material of flesh. From the earthly material, He became the source of our problem (sin). Now, when we look upon this flesh, which had taken on sin to such a degree that He became sin on our behalf, we are healed.
The great symbol of the medical field is a serpent on a pole. The great symbol of our salvation is Christ on a cross.
Look, and live!
In His Grace;
Dr. Randy White
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