Friday, 3 July 2020
"Moshe made a bronze snake and put it on the pole; if a snake had bitten someone, then, when he looked toward the bronze snake, he stayed alive." (Numbers 21:9, CJB)
The context of this verse is that the people are travelling in the desert and they started complaining - again! - about Moshe and G-d. G-d's response is to send poisonous snakes among the people and when they realise they have sinned, G-d tells Moshe to make a bronze snake to lift up.
So G-d makes a way for people to live. But He doesn't just heal the people and save them, they have a part to play to escape dying: they have to look towards the bronze snake. It may be a simple action in itself, but they have to take their eyes off the fearful snakes before them, stop looking down at their snake bites and look up towards the bronze snake.
Can you see where this is going? Later on in the Bible we read about Yeshua, who is lifted up to save us from sin and death. G-d has made a way for us to be reconciled with Him, but we have a part to play! We have to stop being transfixed by the temptations before us, we have to stop looking down at the mess of sin we are in and look up to the cross and saving power of Yeshua.
Most of us in our congregations will have taken that step at some point, but how are we doing in our daily lives now? This Shabbat, let's ask G-d to "draw us to Himself" and focus again on our lifted Redeemer.
"'As for Me, when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to Myself.' He said this to indicate what kind of death He would die. " (John 12:32-33, CJB)