When Jesus told Nicodemus, “You must be born again,” this Jewish scholar didn’t get it. So Jesus explains that in a birthing process, the infant allows the parent to do all the work. “There must be more,” thinks Nicodemus. Using this visiting professor’s favorite book, the Torah, Jesus says “As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life” (John 3:14-15 NLT). Nicodemus got the point!
When God had heard all the complaining He could put up with no more, “…sent fiery serpents… and many of the people of Israel died” (Numbers 21:6 NKJV). The survivors pleaded with Moses to ask God for mercy. “The the Lord said to Moses,”Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and…everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he shall live.'” (Numbers 21:8 NKJV). The snake bitten Israelites found healing by looking at the pole; and sinners find salvation by looking to Christ. Look and live! The simplicity of it troubles us. We expect a more complicated cure. Moses and his followers might have expected more as well:: manufacture an ointment, treat one another, or at least fight back. We say ” God helps those who help themselves”. But Jesus says “only believe”. You believe that the chair will hold your weight, so you sit on it. You trust the work of the light switch so you flip it. You regularly trust power you cannot see to do a work you cannot accomplish. Today, Jesus asks you to do the same.