Numbers 21:8-9 says, “The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.”  So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.”

Jesus pointed back to these verses in John 3:14-15 when He was leading Nicodemus to salvation: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” These verses are of course immediately followed by the game-changing John 3:16.

Jesus was helping Nicodemus (and all folks) understand that you are not saved by what you do (good deeds), but who you look to (Jesus). Most folks I talk to about Jesus believe that if you try your best and don’t do anything really bad, you will get to heaven. They say, “You just have to be good, and I am a pretty good person, so God will see my heart and I will go to heaven.”

Part of sharing the Good (Magnificent) News is helping folks understand that every person is spiritually in bad (terminally ill) condition due to having sinned against God who loves them but also is Holy. Folks need to hear that God is so Good and Just that He must judge their sin, but also provides salvation from the Judgment to all who trust in His Son, raised up for them.

by David Marshall

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