Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Friday, March 8, 2024

Reflections on The Lifted Serpent A Story of Faith and Salvation

Hi everyone,

As we enter this 4th Sunday in Lent, we hear how the "Snake on a Stake" saves the Israelites, and how Jesus on the Cross saves all of us.  Unlike the sheep below, I know Jesus is not a placebo, as God promises our salvation through Jesus Christ.  Check out the attached reflections for more on our Faith and Salvation!


Pastor Tim

"God has led you to the desert, and spoken to your Heart."
Mount of Olives Lutheran Church
3546 E. Thomas Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85018
602-956-1620 office

Reflections on The Lifted Serpent

A Story of Faith and Salvation

As we enter this 4th Sunday in Lent, we gather under the light of scripture, examining three passages that paint a beautiful picture of God's love and our path to salvation through faith.

From the wilderness wanderings, Numbers 21:4-9 recounts the story of the Israelites. Discouraged and ungrateful, they rebelled against God, facing the consequence of fiery serpents sent amongst them. In their despair, they turned to Moses, seeking forgiveness and deliverance. God, in his boundless mercy, instructed Moses to fashion a bronze serpent and lift it high on a pole. Anyone who looked upon it with faith, acknowledging their wrongdoing and trusting in God's grace, would be healed.

John 3:14-21 echoes this message. Jesus, speaking to Nicodemus, declares, "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." Here, Jesus himself becomes the lifted serpent, a symbol of salvation. Just as the Israelites looked upon the bronze serpent for physical healing, we turn to Jesus in faith, seeking healing for our souls, forgiveness for our sins, and the promise of eternal life.

Ephesians 2:1-10 further clarifies this concept. We were all "dead in trespasses and sins," separated from God by our own shortcomings. But "God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, brought us to life with Christ." We are saved by grace, through faith, not by any merit of our own.

These passages, woven together, offer a powerful message:

  • We are all in need of salvation. Just as the Israelites were bitten by serpents, we are all wounded by sin and its consequences.
  • God's love is boundless and his mercy is everlasting. He desires our healing and restoration, just as he desired the Israelites' well-being.
  • Salvation comes through faith, not through any deeds of our own. It is by turning to Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice, and trusting in his love and grace, that we find redemption.

This is good news, no matter where we are on our journey, no matter the burdens we carry, God offers a path to forgiveness, healing, and eternal life. Let us, like the Israelites who looked upon the bronze serpent, turn to Jesus with open hearts and unwavering faith. Let us allow his love to transform us, guide us, and lead us towards the light of eternal life.

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