This is part of the series “What is the Gospel?”
This is the question that Nicodemas asked Jesus one night when he came to see Jesus [John 3:1-15]. Jesus has retreated to pray and here comes a member of the Pharisees, a ruler in the Jewish community. Nicodemas wants to know what it is that Jesus is teaching and asking of those that choose to follow Him. Jesus, in answering the question, points to an unusual moment in the history of the Jewish people. Because of the peoples impatience God sends “fiery serpents” among the people of Israel and because of these serpents many died [Numbers 21:6]. God instructs Moses to make a serpent of bronze and set it on a pole. This is the very image that is used in the medical profession today.
The instruction by God was that anyone that looked upon the serpent would be healed. Being “born again” is the process of looking upon Jesus, believing that in that act, in putting our trust in the instrument of the cross and in Jesus the Crucified the benefit and healing and salvation that God has promised will be transferred to us. Salvation is a leap, but it is not a leap over a cliff into the unknown. Salvation is a leap into the promises of God. The question that God forces us to answer is this, “Will we look to Jesus and receive the redemption that has already been offered?” [Hebrews 10:1-12]