Psalms 34:14 NLT: Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
DAILY DEVOTION, 12/7/21
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:14-15).
Jesus takes us back to a story in the Old Testament. In Numbers. 21:4–9 we read the story of the rebellious Israelites, who murmured and complained that God was not taking good care of them. So God sent fiery serpents into their midst to remind them that it is unwise to criticize God! Then God told Moses to put a bronze serpent on a pole, with the promise that whoever looked at it would live. How can looking at a bronze serpent on a pole cure snake bites? Because God decreed it!
Like the bronze serpent, Jesus was lifted up on a cross. Those who gaze upon that cross with faith are forgiven of their sins and granted eternal life. How is that possible? Don’t we have to work hard to earn eternal life? Our efforts to win God’s favor by our good works will always fall short. Nevertheless, he has decreed that all who believe in His crucified Son receive the gift of eternal life. The message of Jesus is called “good news.” We are healed of the poisonous results of our sins by simply looking to Jesus lifted up and believing. That is good news indeed. Out of gratitude, we work at living as His faithful disciples, not to earn His favor but in response to His favor already granted.
Father, thank You for making the Gospel so simple that even we who have fallen into sin can understand and believe. Thank You, Jesus, for Your willingness to pay the price for our sins and then to welcome us into Your kingdom. Amen.