You can’t do anything.
I mean it. You can’t do anything.
I am sure you are quite competent in certain things. You might even be an “expert” in a particular field. Some of you are quite talented in the arts, fixing computers, arguing court cases, plumbing, teaching, etc.
One of the strangest stories in the Bible is Numbers 21:8-9:
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.
The Israelites were wandering the desert. They still had decades to go before they would enter the promised land. Going around and round the desert. I get it. It would be pretty depressing. So, what do people do when they are stuck? They complain. And, the Israelites were really good at complaining! People are really good at complaining. You and I would have complained too.
“Why did God bring us out to the desert to just have us marching around in circles. There’s no water in the desert. There is no food in the desert. Oh those onions! I, so miss those sweet onions of Egypt!” (I added the onions part. I don’t even like onions. Who would ever miss onions?!?!)
God punished the Israelites by sending poisonous snakes. People were dying.
When they repented, God told Moses to make the Bronze Snake and put it on a Pole.
Snakes are always bad in the Bible. It was the serpent who messed everything up in the Garden of Eden. Why a snake? I don’t know.
But the thing that is really astonishing is that the only requirement to be saved from death was one thing: Look at the bronze snake.
- Ouch! I’ve been bitten! I’m dying – No you’re not! Look at the snake
Check out the people who were saved that day – good people, bad people, sexually impure people, sexually pure people, old, young, smart, not so smart. There could have been rapists and murders. The only requirement to be saved was to look at the snake.
Being saved had nothing to do with people. It had everything to do with believing in God’s remedy for death – looking at the snake.
You can’t do anything.
Salvation was totally dependent on the promise of God that those who looked upon the serpent would be saved.
Now, check this out:
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 (John 3:14-16).
You can’t do anything. You can’t do anything to be saved. It’s all grace. It’s all God. The only thing you need to do is to believe in God’s promise and look at crucified one.
Look at the crucified one. His name is Jesus.
Believe in Jesus and be saved.