Read John 3:9-18. TEXT: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up" (John 3:14).
Nicodemus is just not getting it. He's not a bad guy; why can't he earn his way to heaven? Patiently, Jesus reminds the teacher of a time when Israel grumbled in the wilderness and God sent poisonous serpents. After thousands died, the survivors begged Moses to ask God to remove the serpents. Surprisingly, God answered No! The serpents would stay, and they would keep biting people. But Moses was to lift a bronze serpent on a pole.
Imagine you were bitten. All you had to do was look at the bronze serpent on the pole, trust God's promise and you would live. Jesus told Nicodemus, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life."
Just like Nicodemus, you and I are infected with the deadly poison of the serpent who bit our first parents in the Garden of Eden. There is no way to save ourselves from our poisonous sinful nature. So God sent His only-begotten Son to save us.
When Jesus was lifted up on the cross He paid for our sins by being punished in our place. Only when we look at Jesus and trust the Father's promise to forgive us for Jesus' sake can we be saved from the venom of death within us.
Nicodemus had a clear choice! Just like the ancient Israelites bitten by the serpents and just like you and me today, he could look to Jesus the Light of the world in faith and live or walk away into the darkness and die.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, turn my eyes to Your cross, that I may believe and live. Amen.