The Bronze Serpent (NIV)
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- Full Text: Read full text below
- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: NIV
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What is the Bronze Serpent all about?
In Numbers 21:4-6, the children of Israel complained against God and Moses, so God sent poisonous snakes that bit the people and many of them died.
Then in verses 7-8 we read: “The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’”
So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.”
What does the bronze serpent have to do with humanity today? All of humanity has sinned against a holy God and deserve His punishment in Hell. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “ For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
Jesus made reference to the bronze serpent in John 3:14-18 when He said: “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. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Humanity needs to look to (trust in) Jesus Christ to be forgiven by God the same way the children of Israel had to look to the bronze serpent to receive God’s forgiveness. It is not by our works or efforts. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith [in Jesus Christ]—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Christ died for our sins, was buried, was raised the third day, and appeared to many witnesses (see 1 Corinthians 15:3-5). Look to Him today and live!
“The people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’ Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.”