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HomeDevotionLet Christ, not the Serpent, be Lifted Up

Let Christ, not the Serpent, be Lifted Up

As we seek Him today, forsake the lies of the devil, and let the good that is yours not push you to the opposite of where it should.

Scripture

Our verse for today comes from John 3:14, ” And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up. “

Background

C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity , ” He [the devil] always sends errors into the world in pairs – pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worse. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one. ” As the Israelites made their circuitous way from Egypt to the Promised Land, they had occasion to complain to God about their plight. Upon hearing their gripes one particular time, God decided to send poisonous serpents to visit the complainers. As the offenders were dying from the snake bites, the people cried out to Moses to plead to God on their behalf. In response, God told Moses to make a metal serpent and set it on a pole, and whoever is bitten will be healed if they will look up at the snake. This he did, and those who were bitten were in fact healed when they looked up to the serpent. About a thousand years later, King Hezekiah began his reign over Judah by tearing down the worship centers and idols of the land, and breaking into pieces the very serpent that Moses had made. Why destroy the serpent that had endured for so long? Could it be that, though lifted up on a pole, the serpent had since been elevated to a place far beyond what God had intended? Could that point of healing have been taken to an extreme and become a point of worship?

Application

Jesus said that He must be lifted up like the serpent of Moses. And like many other images in scripture, we see that Jesus is the perfect culmination of the shadows that are pointing to Him. He is the last Adam, for the first was destroyed by another serpent. He is the true King David, for the first had his Bathsheba. What is good can and should be praised. But Satan would have us go so far as to have that good be our undoing. He would encourage us to value and pursue it, and to measure all others by it. But by lifting it up, we put ourselves diametrically opposite from where God’s good things are meant to take us, from where the lifting up of Jesus will take us. As Lewis also wrote, ” Readers are advised to remember the devil is a liar. “

Charge

As we seek Him today, forsake the lies of the devil, and let the good that is yours not push you to the opposite of where it should.


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