“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” ~ John 3:14-15
Look up! Time after time God has given people this invitation. Look up from your failure and disappointment. Look up from your guilt and shame. Look up and see the rescue I have provided.
Jesus reminded a man named Nicodemus of the history which prompted this invitation. God’s people, the Israelites, were in the wilderness. They felt their wants and desires were not being sufficiently met. So they grumbled, complained, and eventually rebelled against the Lord. In response to their open rejection, God sent venomous snakes. As the death toll mounted, people realized their sin and repented. The Lord promptly showed mercy and commanded Moses to make a bronze snake, lift it up on his staff, and offer the invitation to look up! Those who looked up were rescued from the Lord’s just judgment. (Numbers 21:4-9)
Jesus used this Old Testament account to teach a precious lesson. The value of this lesson is seen in what Jesus adds, “so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” It is a lesson we need to learn well and cherish.
So we rejoice and look up! When we look up, we see Jesus lifted up on the cross. Yes, he was crucified and his life ended brutally, yet in his perfect and willing sacrifice, our guilt, punishment, and sentence of death were taken away. We look up and see his resurrection, we look up a see his ascension, we look up and see him seated at the right hand of the Father.
Look up! These are words we need to hear, long to hear, and rejoice to hear.
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to focus our hearts and minds on Jesus during this life, until he brings us to eternal life with him in Heaven. Amen