35. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up (John 3:14).
I’ve never been totally at ease with this analogy. After all, the snake isn’t the most spiritually uplifting of God’s creatures. His role in sin’s beginning makes it hard to equate this creature with Jesus’ mission of love. But the Bible tells us that He became sin for us. He embodied sin, took it on himself fully, to the point that the Father had no choice but to turn from Him. It seems the analogy offers the shocking truth of what Jesus had to become in order to pay the real price for our sins. What a horrific thought. Jesus symbolized by a snake. But that’s what the sacrifice required and that’s the humiliating price He was willing to pay.