43» What's To Learn From Moses And The Snakes?
• John 3:14-17 . . Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Long story short: Moses' people became sick and tired of living in the desert and eating manna all the time at every meal. But instead of courteously, and diplomatically, petitioning their divine benefactor for tastier food and better accommodations, they became hostile and confrontational.
In response to their insolence; God sent a swarm of deadly poisonous snakes among them; which began striking people; and every strike was 100% fatal, no exceptions. In no time at all, much people of Israel died. Then those not yet dead got nervous and appealed to Moses for help. In reply; The Lord instructed Moses to construct a replica of the beasts and hoist it up on a pole in plain view so that everyone dying from venom could look to it for immunity.
Now the key issue here is that the replica, lifted up, was the only God-given remedy for the people's terminal condition-- not purity, not sacrifices and offerings, not tithing, not church attendance, not missionary work, not confession, not holy days of obligation, not the Sabbath, not charity, not good deeds, not good behavior, not piety, not Bible study and Sunday school, not catechism or yeshiva, not one's religion of choice, not self denial and/or self control, not the so-called golden rule, not vows of poverty and/or chastity, not the Ten Commandments, not the Eucharist; no, none of that: not even prayers. That replica, lifted up, was it; viz: it was all or nothing at all-- there was no other option. Whoever failed to look to that replica, lifted up, for immunity died: no exceptions.
In other words then: Christ, lifted up on the cross to satisfy justice for the sins of the world, is the only God-given option for protection from the second death depicted at Rev 20:11-15. The default is terminal; no exceptions. People relying upon religion and piety, instead of putting all their trust in Christ's crucifixion, are dead men walking, no exceptions.
• John 3:18 . .Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever disbelieves stands condemned already.