When God shows up in the story of the killing snakes in the wilderness, he shows up as the healer of his people. Anyone who will look on the uplifted fiery bronze serpent lives.
Our superstitions, our misapprehensions, about a God who brings death and destruction, a God who cannot be trusted, led the people, lead us, to hide from the face of God in their complaints and misery.
All of today’s lectionary readings have a common message: all the ways that we walk away from love are the origin of the evil and the death that befalls the cosmos, and the good Creator is the healer who restores his beloved world.
In our superstition and worship of idols we always want to pin darkness on the Light of the world. These superstitions have their basis in our fall from God,
In our self-imposed about the charitable character of the Creator.
It was not the bronze serpent who rescued the people from the death they imposed on themselves but God and so when Hezekiah finds them worshipping it and other pagan idols in the Temple some seven to eight centuries later he destroys it.
When Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night, Jesus mentions the episode with the snake and says that the Human One must be lifted up so that all who believe on him (look on him) will be saved.
Jesus tells Nicodemus that God so loved the world that he sent the Son, his only perfect mirror, so that all who believed in him might share the divine life without end.
There’s that word again: believe. We often think of this in terms of our dialogues with our brother skeptics and atheist friends about the very existence of God. Jesus has something far deeper in mind: trust; trust in the God who comes not to condemn the cosmos but to rescue it from death…read the rest of the article at Clarion Journal.