We are all familiar with John 3:16. Most of us know it by heart and can quote it on demand. In the conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus uses an Old Testament event to explain salvation. “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:” This is an interesting comparison and a very intriguing historical reference. Jesus went on to say “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Here, we are taught that we must believe in order to receive salvation. But, what does that mean? How much do we have to know before we believe? The Old Testament example answers these questions.
Because of God’s judgment on Israel’s sin, fiery serpents were in the camp biting people. Those who were bitten were dying quickly. The people came to Moses and asked him to pray for them and get an answer from God. God told Moses to make a serpent of brass and put it on a pole where it could readily be seen by the people. If someone was bitten, all they had to do was look upon the serpent and they would live. Look, and live. That seems pretty simple to me. The person who bitten knew they were bitten. They knew the danger of the snakebite. They were told what the remedy was. They obeyed by looking upon the brazen serpent. They were healed.
Jesus was lifted up for us on the cross of Calvary. He is our remedy for our sinful condition. Sin demands judgment from a holy and righteous God, but God did not demand that we suffer that judgment. He, because of His great love for us, allowed His Son to suffer our judgment for us. “Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The Bible teaches us everything we need to know in order to be saved. We are all sinners. We are in eternal danger because of our sin. Jesus paid our sin debt on the cross of Calvary. If we put our faith and trust in Him, we can be saved. That seems pretty simple to me. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I am glad salvation was made simple for us by God. We are all qualified to be saved because we are all sinners. Those of us who are now the children of God have obeyed one simple piece of instruction. We have looked, and now we live. We have believed in Jesus as our Savior, and now we shall not perish and we are in possession of eternal life.