Type and Shadow of Christ

by | Apr 7, 2020 | Devotional | 1 comment

brazen_serpent.jpg

As we approach Easter weekend and the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I think about His sacrifice. Without His crucifixion, the resurrection and our opportunity for eternal life would never have been possible. If we look to Him on that cross, giving His life for our sins, we want to know what we need to do moving forward. We can’t ever repay Him, but what meager thing can we do? All He asks is that we be obedient, repent with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and follow His commandments the rest of our days. If we do this, then we will have accepted that opportunity He made possible so many years ago on Calvary’s hill.

There was a type and shadow of Jesus on the cross many, many years before. In Numbers 21:1-9, we read that while still in the wilderness, God delivered up the Canaanites into the hands of the children of Israel. Not long after this, they began to murmur again. They complained against God and Moses, wondering why they were brought up out of Egypt where there was bread and water. Plus, they were tired of the manna God was giving them daily. So, God sent fiery serpents among them, and many of the people were bitten and died. This humbled the people, and they went to Moses, recognizing they had sinned and asked him to pray to God that the serpents would be taken away. Moses prayed, and God told him to make a replica of one of the serpents and set it on a pole. Anyone who was bitten would only need to look upon it to live. Moses obeyed, and when someone was bitten and looked, they lived.

The Book of Mormon tells us, in 1 Nephi 17:41, that God did this to straighten the people because of their iniquity. He sent the fiery flying serpents, but he also prepared a way for them to be healed by looking upon the brazen one. However, “because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.”

The story is referenced again in Helaman 7:14-15. Nephi says that the lifting up of the brazen serpent is the same as the lifting up of Jesus. “And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.”

I’d like to point out three main points from this.

First, like God preparing a way for the people to be healed when He sent the serpents, the plan of redemption, Jesus Christ, was prepared from the foundation of the world.

Second, God didn’t take the problem away from Israel, but He gave them a way to live, and do it productively. Today, our problems may not go away either, but God gives us a way to live productively through Jesus Christ.

Third, the way to healing is simple. All the children of Israel needed to do was look to the brazen serpent (be obedient) and they would be healed. All we need to do today is look to Christ and we will be healed. This works both spiritually and naturally, just as described in the scriptures.

As of this writing, we’re in the middle of dealing with a disease sweeping its way around the country and world. We’re stuck in our homes, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. But, as with all the calamities throughout time from Day One on, Jesus is the answer. If we look to Him with faith and obedience, He will bring us through in whatever is the best way for each of us. The invitation is open for any that haven’t “looked” yet. Come to Jesus and be healed, both spiritually and naturally. And if you’ve already “looked” once, keep on doing it every day.

Image credit: “Moses and the Brazen Serpent” by Esteban March (1610-1668)

Bio Rich

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

Author

  • Brother Rich Nath

    Brother Rich lives in Katy, Texas, with wife Tracy, son Jack, and Penny the dog.

1 Comment

  1. Brother Gary Thompson

    Another Great article. Thank you JESUS for all you’ve done, all you do and all you will do in the future.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Further Reading

Dear Busy Parent

Dear Busy Parent, Keeping the kids alive, shuttling them to and from their various activities and schools and daycares, working in order to afford said activities and to survive, taking care of meals and making sure the house is clean and the yard is tidy...there...

Read More

The Mom and the Butterfly

I homeschool my two little boys, and for our last "fun" science project of the school year, we got one of those caterpillar-to-butterfly kits. Over the course of about two weeks, we watched with delight and disgust as six caterpillars munched their way through a...

Read More

Never Miss a New Article

Subscribe to Our Email List
Sign up and get every new blog post sent straight to your inbox so you always have the day’s devotional at your fingertips.

We never share your email address with anyone for any reason, and we use it only to send you Gospel Blog emails. Just articles, not ads!

Your Story for God’s Glory

Share Your Testimony on Miracle Monday

We devote Miracle Monday to sharing miracle stories. From finding a lost wedding ring to healing cancer on the spot, Jesus Christ has done it all, big and small.

And we want to hear about what He’s done for you.

The Gospel Blog Is Open for Submissions

We encourage devotional-style or scripture-based articles in the ballpark of 500 words. We are open to any topic that glorifies God and unites the Church.