“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:”
Jesus illustrates, possibly, the most precise and complete explanation of God's plan of salvation of any time in His ministry. The reference to the event in the wilderness of the serpents' bringing death into the camp is used to teach of the one way God gave Moses to bring salvation and life to the people. The serpent that brought death to the camp was used as the one means of salvation to the people. In this scripture Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man. So, as sin entered the world through man, Jesus as man is used as the one means of salvation. Both are lifted up into the enemy's territory. The prince of the power of the air (the serpent) is defeated by the Son of Man (Seed of Woman) between Heaven and Earth.
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life”
Ordinarily lifting up a snake on a pole would be repulsive to the Jews, especially reminding of the serpent that deceived Eve. Many must have thought this explanation for salvation to be too easy or too foolish to be believed and perished in their own unbelief forgetting that God had prophecied to the serpent, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Gen 3:15) Those with bruised heel from the serpent that chose to believe as with a child like faith did not perish, but lived. So also Jesus as the seed of the woman promised that "whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." He continued on with what has become one of the most well known verses of the Bible and more; "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Cor 11:3 KJV)
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