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And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:14-15 NKJV).


OT is the NT concealed and the NT is the OT revealed. The brazen serpent of Numbers 21 revealed to us  a beautiful representation of not only of man's redemption which was accomplished at Calvary by our Lord Jesus Christ but also of the eternal continuity of that redemption. (Jesus is in the old testament concealed - An angel, the manna, the rock etc.).

(And  the  people  spoke  against  God and against Moses: Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this  worthless  bread." (Numbers 21:5 NKJV).

The people spoke against God and Moses, God chosen representative to the people. This shows us the state of rebellion that exists in the heart of man. Even though God has demonstrated his existence, his authority and power and his care for the people by delivering them from the bondage in Egypt, the fallen nature of man had yet to be dealt with.

Many acknowledge God, serving him through various religion yet they speak against his authority and spurn his provision of salvation and sustenance. They are also quick to blame God for things that  are wrong in their life and in the world.

(So the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died. (Numbers 21:6 NKJV).


The fiery serpent represent sin and judgment. In the Garden of Eden the serpent caused Adam & Eve to sin against God. Judgment of death was the result ( Gen. 2:17, 3:19).

Because they spoke against God and His authority, His righteousness and holiness demanded judgment.

The fiery serpent represents the peoples sin and consequential judgment of death.

When a person is bitten by a snake, it is a representation of what happen when we are bitten of sin, the venom of sin brings forth death. So it is today because of man's continuous rebellion and disobedience to God , he has the venom of death flowing in his veins.


(Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. (Numbers 21:7 NKJV).

They realized that what they have done was sin against God and repentance fill their heart, they then turn to Moses, God 's authoritative representative and ask that he pray to God to take away the serpents or in other word take away their sins and judgement. Moses prayed: this shows that one who stands in a position of authority and representation of God must have a heart of compassion and service for the people. Moses did not judge them nor condemn them.the people knew that they have sinned without Moses telling them. They came to Moses as a mediator to God. Moses was a shadow of Jesus.


(Then the LORD said to Moses, Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. (Numbers 21:8-9 NKJV).

The fiery or brass serpent was a representation of the sin of mankind and the resultant sentence of death was upon all. It was fixed to a pole for all to see and look upon in the same way that Jesus was fixed to the cross for all to see and look upon (And when they had come to the place  called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. (Luke 23:33 NKJV).

When Jesus was on the cross, he became the living and dying  fulfillment of the fiery serpent.

When he was crucified and lifted up he became the representation of man's sin and bore the sentence of death on our behalf (John3:14-18).


(But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

This shows the extends of God's love and mercy towards us in that he provided the dearest thing to his heart to save us from condemnation of sin.

Jesus christ and his sacrificial death is the only avenue of salvation that God has provided. Those who reject Jesus reject their only source of eternal forgiveness and life.


When Jesus was on the cross the sins of the whole world was placed upon him that he might bear the sentence of death for all. ( matt. 27:45-46)

When darkness came to the land it was caused by all the sins of mankind that were being drawn to the cross and placed upon Jesus - it was that time that God separated himself from Jesus because he has no fellowship with sin and for the first time  in Jesus life he was separated from the father. Can you imagine his grief when all his life he had known nothing but deep intimacy and fellowship with the father and then because he bore our sin he had to endure the loneliness of separation from God in the darkest hour of his life.

That is why Isaiah says ( Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV)

Griefs  in hebrew means sickness, and diseases.

Sorrow  means pain (Jesus bore the sickness, diseases and pain as a result of our sins)

Wounded  means profane, defile pollute (Jesus allowed himself to the defiled and polluted)

Transgressions  means trespasses, sins rebellion.

Bruised  means broken crushed, beaten to pieces.

Iniquities  means perversity, depravity, guilt.

Chastisement  means discipline, chastening and correction.

Peace  mean completeness, soundness, welfare.

 Stripes , means bruises, hurts and wounds.


(For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (Romans 8:3 NKJ V)


(But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6 NK JV)

Hebrew word for righteousness is ts@daqah meaning virtue, righteous act, clear self, justify self. The more we keep the law the more we see how sinful we are, the more we struggle to make it the more we become miserable.


Blessings: Julius Olaniyan

08 Aug 2015 18:31