The Bronze Serpent and the Cosmic Cross.
We do ourselves a great disservice if we think that the Easter season is only about time off, chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs. There is a far deeper meaning to this season of the year. It signifies the cataclysmic cosmic event that evil has been conquered by good.
The Bible, is a wonderful book of stories. How else can we learn if we do not have story telling time ? These stories will only be grasped if faith is applied – the willingness to believe – this is the key to understanding the mysteries of God.
The Bronze Serpent, is a story within a story of God’s people and is found in Numbers 21. In short, the story goes that the Israelites who were coming out of bondage to the Egyptians and were about to enter the land of Edom. They were wary of soul, very discouraged, murmuring and complaining and spoke against God and against Moses.
So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people and many of the people of Israel died. Sorrowfully they came to Moses to ask for prayer. So Moses prayed for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole, and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”
Alan Webster in his QT 27-3-15 writings highlights the story and brings it a little closer to home: ‘ God had told Moses to fashion a snake out of bronze to raise up on a pole. How long did that take? Imagine the cries of the suffering, the anguish of the families as they tried to avoid the poisonous serpents and dealt with family members as they helplessly watched them die. But why had this plague of snakes come into the camp? It is into a camp of complaint where poisonous accusations against God are created, that poisonous snakes come. If we expect God to rejoice with singing over us, our faith-filled hearts should overflow with praise. But even in their distress, when they finally turn to God, He shows mercy and grace to the undeserving. The snake pole brings healing for those who are willing to believe. There were many who when bitten, didn’t look, but died in their unbelief.’
The serpent is entangled in the story found in Genesis 3…Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast in the field which the Lord God had made.… the beginning of mankind’s problems – evil let loose, sin embedded and the curse applied. When you stop and take a look at humanity today how devastating the curse shows up in strife, power struggles, in wars, the killings, beheadings, human trafficking, child soldiers, abandoned babies, diseases, rampant viruses, huge deceptions, illusions, lies, and corruption rife in every day and in every nation, the evidence is at hand – evil rules … for now !
But there is hope … And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. So the cross of Jesus Christ has a parallel to the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up in the wilderness. It is the antidote for the serpent’s bite.
When we consider the Cosmic Cross it points us to the depth of God’s love for us, and the length He will go to win back that which is lost. It is a story to be both in awe of, and to weep over. It is about the Son of God – Jesus Christ, who hung on the cross for us. And who is this Jesus ? There will be many different answers to this question. One of the most compelling revelations of Jesus Christ is found in
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things and in Him all things consist.
It does not get higher than that, except to say that He is God incarnate in this world we call earth, which forms part of the cosmos – that is the visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, not only in our time, but down the corridors of every generation – quite a spectrum of power!
Further more, He came to conquer the serpent, sin, the curse applied to all humanity –
For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8. He came to make atonement for mankind, for those who will receive Him as their Saviour and their God, not only today but down the labyrinth of every generation too – quite a spectrum of mercy !
The crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Cosmic Cross, is the cosmic event that changed the course of humanity, and its effects are still very relevant in our today world. It changes our destinies and ushers us into the New Creation… and herein lies another story! Have a close look at the inserted picture (with acknowledgement to the late Annie Vallotton, the Illustrator of the Good News Bible.)
Easter time is not about chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs, and is not to be taken lightly. It is a time of death and resurrection, the centre piece of “His Story” in His Book, that includes the story of my life … and your life too, if you were to invite Him into your heart this Easter season.