Question 508

By: Robert Serreyn

Question? I have always wondered, What was the purpose for Moses to lift up the serpent as mentioned in John 3:14?

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:


In the Old Testament the Children of Israel had complained against the Lord and because of this the Lord sent poisonous snakes among them which killed many.

Numbers 21:6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

The people immediately repented and begged Moses to ask God to take away the snakes but God DID NOT comply with this request.

Numbers 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.

INSTEAD the Lord instructed Moses to make a snake of brass and place it high upon a pole.

Numbers 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery (poisonous) serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

Those that had been bitten by a snake if they looked (in belief / faith) to the Brazen Snake they would be healed and live, in other words THEY RECIEVED physical salvation.

Numbers 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

When Jesus USED this Illustration he (Jesus) KNEW that Nicodemus knew this historical account all to well for he (Nicodemus) was a teacher of the scriptures.

Jesus USED this account to drive home the truth to Nicodemus that just like Moses had to place a brass snake on a pole BECAUSE of the sins of the people IF they looked in faith they would be SAVED PHYSICALLY, so Jesus emphasized BECAUSE of the sins of people HE had to be put on a cross TO DIE ( be lifted up) as payment for those sins and ALL THOSE that looked upon him (placed their faith alone in) would be SAVED SPIRITUALLY.

In Conclusion:

The Lord inferred by this example that ALL of mankind had been bitten by the old serpent, Satan, and that he himself, the Son of Man, would be LIFTED HIGH upon the cross, Whosover would look to him in faith, Believing, would be saved.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to know IS Jesus Christ as savior, just simply believe that Jesus Christ went to the cross and DIED and shed his blood, was BURIED and three days later RESURRECTED from the dead to pay for your sins.

The moment that you do YOU HAVE (at that second and forever) Everlasting Life which WILL NEVER be taken away no matter what.

-Christ DIED for you – Romans 5:8

-Christ PAID your sins in full – 2 Corinthians 5:21,1 Peter 2:24

-BELIEVE (Trust In Completely) in Christ ALONE as the complete payment of sin for salvation – John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8,9

“For the wages(payment) of sin is death (eternal torment in hell); but the GIFT(salvation) of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord”. Romans 6:23