“It is finished.” –John 19:30
No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And 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 3:13–15 NLT)
During their wandering in the wilderness, the Israelites grumbled and spoke against God and Moses, complaining about the blessings God had provided, such as freedom from Egypt and manna from heaven. In response, God sent venomous snakes among the people, causing many to die. After the people repented and Moses petitioned the Lord on their behalf, God instructed Moses to craft a replica of the snakes and attach it to a pole, calling on all those who were suffering to look upon the figure to be healed.
There is no earthly logic that explains the healing of the Israelites who were bitten. Charles Spurgeon put it this way, “I cannot, myself, but admit, that at first sight the brazen serpent seems to be the most absurd invention, in itself, for curing those who were bitten, that ever mind of man could have invented; and yet I see in the brazen serpent, when I come to study it, the highest wisdom that even God himself could develop.” Following in Jesus’s rhetorical steps in the conversation with Nicodemus, Spurgeon goes on to connect the bronze snake erected on a pole to the Son of Man hung on a tree. From man’s point of view, it only looks like folly and foolishness for God to die in such a way, but from God’s point of view, it is wisdom and salvation. Invite the Holy Spirit to point out to you the areas of your life where you have been relying on your own understanding rather than allowing God, in His wisdom, to direct you.