“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:14,15) ‘Lifted up’ is a polite way of saying about crucifixion or death sentence. Lord Jesus was reminding the Nicodemus and Jews about the miraculous salvation from death by poisonous snake by seeing the brass serpent lifted on a pole. (Numbers 21:4-9) Poisonous snakes indicate Satan, who is termed as Serpent. Lifted up brass serpent typified Lord Jesus crucified on the cross bearing the burden of sin and wrath of God. Moses could not have killed all the snakes in the wilderness. God devised a way to provide solution or salvation for the Nation of Israel. The serpent Moses made was not of gold or silver or copper, a meaner metal. Their only option was to trust God’s grace, love, power and wisdom and look to the brass serpent in faith. The brass serpent had a form of serpent but did not have poison. In the same way Son of God took the form of human but was sinless, pure and holy. Brass is strong and durable signifying the strength, stamina and power of Lord Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus in his human incarnation was despised, bruised and put to death.
Lifted up is considered as a humiliation and hanging on a tree as a curse from the world point of view, as well as according to Mosaic Law. Anyone who hangs on a tree is cursed. However, Christ saw that as exaltation and glorification. (Galatians 3:13; John 12:32)
The word ‘must’ indicate the eternal necessity for Lord Jesus Christ to die, buried, resurrected and ascended. (Luke 24:26, 46; Matthew 26:54; Mark 8:31)
Do I look up the cross as my saviour?