After Moses made the bronze snake and lifted it up on a pole, the hearts of the congregation must be filled with doubts and disbeliefs: after all, they had exhausted all ways and means for a cure, how could a mere glance of a bronze snake heal them? How could it be so simple and effortless? Didn’t they need at least some sort of ointment to apply on their wounds? What did a glance at the bronze snake have to do with the poison in their bodies? Could God’s method really prove effective? Could His words be trusted? Many started off skeptical, however, after the first person looked at the snake and was healed, the masses followed to put their gaze upon the bronze snake. To their astonishment, with a mere look, the poison in their bodies completely vanished without a trace! They lived because they had followed the instruction of the Lord.
This is the definition of “faith” as described in the bible. What made the people decide to put their gaze at the bronze snake was faith, because the method used by God was different from any other known conventional methods of treatment and it totally 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 method, which was 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 afflicted by 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 commonly know. Many people try to do charitable deeds or to undergo severe punishments of the body so that they may eliminate the problem of sin and gain deliverance for their soul. If ten sins have been committed, it will be cancelled off by doing ten good deeds or by going through equal amount of sufferings, this sounds logical and fair. However, the method of our Lord does not require us to do anything on our part, all that we need to do is to solely trust Him to solve all our problems of sin. Just by looking at Christ on the cross, all our sins will be removed instantly and our souls will be saved.
Should the Israelites then decide that God’s way was too simple and unbelievable, and tried to use any other ways but to look at the bronze snake, they would all eventually perish from the poison. Similarly, if we decide 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 of our souls. The meaning of “saving faith” is to redirect our faith and trust away from our own good deeds, and focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, to depend on Him alone for the salvation of our soul. In the past, we have trusted man’s way of salvation, now we are being offered the salvation of God. If we have once placed our trust in our feeble selves, for us to trust the almighty God now, is it a thing too difficult to do? Doesn’t God prove more reliable than mere flesh and blood?
Jesus Christ is the power of God, He is able to save all who believe in Him. The Israelites merely looked at the bronze snake and all the deadly poison in them was removed; today, if we look upon the Son of God – Jesus Christ, wouldn’t He prove more worthy and able to remove all our sins and deliver us from hell?