a bronze snake and a talking donkey

This bit of the OT blew my mind the first time a friend of mine, a god-fearing man, taught me about it a year ago. And here I am a year from then reading it for myself, and it’s still just as awesome. So, Numbers 21:4-9 –

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea to go around Edom. But 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 desert? 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, he lived.

Funny how secular interpretations of this passage point to a pagan god, the Greek god of healing Asklepios (whose symbol is a snake on a rod). But a biblical, Spirit-filled interpretation points to the real Healer, Jesus Christ. I had already heard how this passage is a direct prophecy of Christ’s healing and his sacrifice, as John 3:14-15 makes very clear – “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” Also see John 6:39-40 – “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Continue reading “a bronze snake and a talking donkey”

some thoughts about Jesus

Firstly just an interesting bit in the OT that I never noticed. This story is from Numbers 16:41-50, just after the LORD had destroyed Korah and his followers for their disobedience:

The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the LORD’s people,” they said.

But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the Tent of Meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the LORD said to Moses, “Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.” And they fell facedown.

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started.” So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the mist of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, for the plague had stopped.

That has to be one of the most awesome pictures of Christ in the OT! A priest who rushes to save a sinful, grumbling people, making atonement for them in the face of the righteous judgement, literally standing between life and death for his people. Of course this is just an image, the actual sacrificing atonement of Christ demanded no less than the death of the priest as well. Continue reading “some thoughts about Jesus”

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