THE UPLIFTED REDEEMER
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up" (John 3:14, NKJV).
In His memorable nocturnal interview with Nicodemus, Jesus made reference to the bronze serpent Moses placed on a pole that those who believed might look at it and live (see Numbers 21). Jesus then drew a parallel between this act of Moses and the cross upon which the Son of Man must be lifted up (see John 3:14, NKJV). Just as the earnest gaze of faith produced healing, even so faith in the vicarious sacrifice of Calvary would bring healing from the ravages of sin. In the writings of the apostle John, the term "lifted up" always refers to the crucifixion of Jesus (see John 8:28; 12:34, etc.). The lifted-up Christ is the crucified Christ. Doubtless, Nicodemus must have been deeply impressed when he eventually saw Jesus hanging on the cross "uplifted" to the view of all.
It was in this setting of the uplifted Redeemer that the Bible's most comprehensive statement of salvation was uttered (see John 3:16). Because of God's supreme love, Jesus voluntarily gave His life on the cross that "whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16, NKJV). This amazing truth is the very heart of the gospel. There's life, redemption, and hope in a look at the uplifted Saviour. Indeed, there is life in a look at the sacred cross.
Ellen G. White adds this touch to the portrait of the uplifted Redeemer: "As the serpent was lifted up in the wilderness, so the Son of God was lifted up on the cross, that sinners from the ends of the earth might look and live... The effects of sin can be removed only by the provision which God has made. Here, alone, hope and salvation can be found."--Signs of the Times, October 28, 1880.
My Prayer Today: Lord, help me to fix my gaze on the uplifted Redeemer. Amen.