Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. (John 3: 14_15)
Jesus is referring to an old testament story of told in Numbers 21 of a time when the Israelites grew weary on their journey out of the land of Egypt and began to complain against God and Moses. The Bible says that God sent serpents that bit the people and many died. The people asked Moses to pray for them and when he did, God told Moses to take a pole and then to make a bronze snake to put at the end of it and set it up for the people. Then when one was bit by the snake, if they looked at the bronze snake lifted up on the pole, they lived.
So here, Jesus is likening himself to the bronze snake in the old testament. He is to be lifted up and when He is lifted up and people look to Him they will live. This is so important, and really so missed by religion.
Many times the pastor or dynamic speaker is lifted up, the bands and entertainment are lifted up, the religious doctrine is lifted up, the rules or the way a certain denomination holds things are lifted up, the works of a church are lifted up, the arguments of what is right and what is wrong are lifted up, etc . . . and CHRIST is lost in the background. God has even witnessed to me that much of what goes on by way of “praise” today are crowds gathering together and working themselves up into a frenzy shouting and getting “high on the moment” and not even realizing that Christ is not being lifted up at all, that the reality is, they are full of themselves.
How will you know if you are lifting up Christ or not? Christ said himself- “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32 Now here He is speaking of his crucifixion, however he states the purpose of lifting the Savior up is to draw all people to HIM! Its not just about saying his name either. Its about really seeking him with all your heart, reading his words, talking to him with a prayerful heart and listening to his leading in your life. Its about desiring to be a proper representative of him in this world, because when you say you are a follower of Jesus and you misrepresent him, you dishonor his precious name.
People wonder, why they are dying spiritually? Who is being lifted up in your life? Turn your eyes fully upon Jesus, lift him up in true praise and worship and you will come alive. This “alive” will be to the things of God- the souls he loves and wants to see healed, and to reconcile to himself. God sent Christ to seek and save the lost. God sent Christ to teach people the way of righteousness. God sent Christ to show us how to love each other. God sent Christ that whoever would believe in him would be saved – saved from sin and the condemnation, and separation from God that sin brings. God sent Christ because He loved us. He loved us so much he gave us himself in his Son Jesus Christ.
God help us daily to remember that Christ suffered horribly, was lifted up on a cruel and torching cross, that we who have been bitten by the serpent might be redeemed from an otherwise certain death. We need to keep our eyes on Christ alone. He is the one we worship. Not our pastors. Not our church affiliations. Not our reputation amongst “brethren.” But we lift up the Lord Jesus Christ, and when we do, we live and souls will be drawn to him.