Questions/Answers Isn’t the SERPENT a symbol of the DEVIL? Then why did JESUS COMPARE Himself to a SERPENT? (See John 3:14)

Isn’t the SERPENT a symbol of the DEVIL? Then why did JESUS COMPARE Himself to a SERPENT? (See John 3:14)

Question 30

ISN'T THE SERPENT A SYMBOL OF THE DEVIL? THEN WHY DID JESUS COMPARE HIMSELF TO A SERPENT? (See John 3:14)

Jesus told Nicodemus:

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

Jesus compared Himself to that serpent which the Lord commanded Moses to make for the healing of the people. Was it a good comparison?

Certainly yes! There is a lot of truth in it.

A serpent is a cursed creature. Remember God cursed the medium that the devil used in the Garden of Eden?

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. (Genesis 3:14)

The serpent in the Garden was not the devil, but was only a medium of the devil; that is, the devil was in the serpent. Don't we have today, too, people who are possessed with demons? They are not devils in flesh and blood, but humans who have the evil one residing within.

The serpent was a real serpent; it was used as the medium.

And the curse of sin came upon earth through this medium that the devil used.

God, on the other hand, used another medium where the curse would be removed. The Son of God would be the instrument through which God would undo what Satan did through his medium.

Jesus bore the curse of sin upon Himself on the Cross. He is called:

The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

Listen to what Paul said about Jesus hanging on the tree, or the Cross:

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. (Galatians 3:13)

As the serpent was cursed for being a means of the devil to bring in sin into our world, Jesus was cursed, for our sakes, being the medium of God to pay the penalty for sin, and to take away sin from this world.

His curse was a blessing to us. Paul tells us of the blessings we receive because of Christ being cursed for our sakes:

Being made a curse for us... that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13, 14)

It was a grand and unfathomable exchange of love for us, sinners! Peter too said:

By whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)

That is the reason Jesus cried out in deep agony as He was being crushed with the curse of sin on that rough despised Cross:

My God My God, why hast thou forsaken me. (Matthew 27:46)

He was condemned for our sins because God loved the world so much! Because Jesus, the innocent Son of God, was condemned to die the second death, voluntarily, we escape the condemnation and curse. When we believe and look upon the Son of God hanging on the Cross, as the children of Israel looked upon the brazen serpent, the symbol of curse, in the wilderness, we escape the condemnation of eternal death, as they escaped the first death.

What a promise we have:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

O what love! God preferred His only begotten Son to die, than see us perish forever! Paul wrote:

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

Christ did not mind being cursed and condemned for us; He did not mind bearing the marks of guilt for us; He did not mind risking

His own life for us; He did not mind being looked upon as the One who deserved it; He did not mind facing the justice of God's holy law for us; He did not mind hanging between two thieves and being "Numbered with the transgressors"! (Mark 15:28).

Therefore He told Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel, who knew very well the story of the brazen serpent:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (John 3:14-18)

What a soul stirring and clear message that was! Only by beholding the Savior through faith on the Cross, whose power transforms, we can escape from death, the eternal death, which comes because of the sting of that:

Old serpent called the devil and Satan. (Revelation 20:2)

Thank God for Jesus who bore the curse so that we can live and be blessed forever! Thank you Lord Jesus for doing it for us!

 

 

Pastor Michael Pedrin Preaching