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.”—John 3:14-15
The Israelites were complaining. In fact, they were complaining about the same things people complain about today in family life. “We don’t like the food.” “The leadership around here isn’t doing a good job.” “We have bad living conditions.”
God knew that complaining was a problem. It means that people are focusing too much on their problems, on the temporal, on the to do list, chores, or other earthly things. The solution is to focus on the heavenly, what God is doing and wants to do in our lives.
So, God sent snakes into the camp in Numbers 9:1-8 and people suffered even more. But then came the solution. The people asked Moses to talk to God about the problem. God told Moses to put a brass snake on a pole and lift it high into the air so that anyone who looked up at it would be healed.
God healed people that day, not just from the poisonous snakes, but also from their downward looking life. They needed to look up. They needed to be saved. They needed God’s solution to their lives. They needed to get their eyes off of the earthly things and onto the heavenly.
That’s how Jesus used the Israelite story as he was talking to Nicodemus. He wanted this Jewish leader to get his eyes off of the earthly things and onto heavenly things (John 3:12). How would he do that? By becoming born again. Later, he, along with all of the disciples would know that this conversation about being born again and about the snake in the wilderness would all be tied into Jesus being lifted up on a cross for our salvation.
Note that the salvation isn’t just a one time blessing to save us from our sins. But it’s a continual change in our lives now. We look up to the cross, up to heavenly things, and not just earthly things. We are different. We see the spiritual, not just the physical. The daily challenges around us are experienced in the bigger perspective of God’s grace, his plan, and his work in our lives. And, when that new vision for life takes place, it’s called being born again.
Spend time today thanking God for your salvation and for giving you a bigger outlook on your personal challenges. Look up for a change. God offers something much bigger to experience.
Lord, please help me understand more about your plan, your direction, and your work in my life today. Help me to see the problems and challenges of my life as part of something bigger that you’re doing. Remind me to look up to you and the cross. I want to see you in everything that happens in my life. Amen.