Question:

In John 3:14, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, and speaks of Moses lifting up the serpent. Is this the bronze serpent Moses made? And how does this relate to Jesus and what is Jesus trying to tell Nicodemus? I understand the part about believing and eternal life, but I still think I am missing something here. Please help.


Answer:

From the study "Nicodemus and the Samaritan Woman"

Jesus proceeds to explain why he left heaven to come to this earth: he came down to be lifted up. By this, Jesus is alluding to his eventual death upon the cross. He makes a parallel to his death with the serpent Moses lifted up in the wilderness (Numbers 21:8-9). The people of Israel, because of their sins, were being stricken by serpents from whose bit there was no cure. But God provided a cure, if the people would accept it by looking upon it. In the same way men who sin are plagued with eternal death, a death they cannot avoid. But God is providing a cure by sending His Son, if people will accept the gift and believe on him. No one needs to perish and God does not wish for any to perish. Jesusí purpose is not to bring final judgment against the world, but to rescue people from the consequences of their own sins.