After Moses had made the bronze snake and lifted it up on a pole, the hearts of the congregation must have been filled with disbelieve: after all, they have exhausted all ways and means for a cure, how could a mere glance of a bronze snake heal them? How could it be so effortless? Didn’t they need at the very least some sort of ointment to apply on their wounds? What does a glance at the bronze snake have to do with the poison in their bodies? Could God’s method really prove effective? Can His words be trusted? Many started off sceptical, however when the first person started to look at the snake and was healed, the masses followed to put their gaze upon the bronze snake. Unexpectedly, with a mere look, the poison in their bodies completely disappeared without a trace! All because they have followed the instructions of the lord, they lived.
This is the definition of ‘faith’ as described in the bible. What made the people decide to put their eyes towards the bronze snake was faith; because the methods used by God were different from known conventional methods of treatment, it defied the laws of nature and their logical understanding. The only thing they could do was to believe God, to have faith in His solution; to trust that by doing according to His prescribed methods, which is by looking at the snake, their poison would be removed.
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, to save everyone with sin. As the poison of the snake destroys the body of a man, the poison of sin destroys the soul of a person. The salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ is vastly different from the methods that we would expect. Many people try to do charitable deeds or to undergo severe training of the body so that they may eliminate the problem of sin and gain deliverance of their soul. If ten sins have been committed, it will be cancelled off by doing ten good deeds or by going through time periods of suffering; this sounds logical and seemingly fair. The method the Lord had used however, does not require us to do anything on our part, all that we need to do is to solely trust upon the Lord to solve all of our sin problems. Just by looking upon Christ hung on the cross, our sins will be removed immediately and our souls will be saved.
Should the people then decide that God’s way was too effortless and unbelievable and tried to use any other ways but to look at the snake, they will all eventually perish from the poison. Similarly, if we decided that our good deeds are able to deliver our souls and we deny the salvation that God has prepared for us – to believe in Jesus, then we will inevitably suffer the consequence of condemnation to our souls. ‘Saving faith’ means that we direct our faith and trust, away from good deeds, and redirect them upon the Lord Jesus Christ, to depend only upon Him solely for the redemption of our soul.
In the past, we have trusted man’s way to salvation, now we have to trust the salvation of God. If we had once placed our trust upon our feeble selves, for us to trust the almighty God now, is it too difficult to do? Doesn’t God prove more reliable than we ourselves?
Jesus Christ is the power of God. He is able to save all that believe in Him. The Israelites merely looked upon the bronze snake and all the deadly poison in them was removed. Today, if we look upon the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Couldn’t he prove more worthy to remove us of all our sins, to deliver us from hell unto heaven?