|Wednesday:||Look and Live: the Snake and the Son|
|Story Passage:||Numbers 21:4-9|
|Other Passages:||John 3|
|Objective:||We should look to Jesus, trusting in God for our salvation.|
|Visuals||Available (updated 2016)|
|Memory Verse:||John 3:14-15, |
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
This week we're learning about people in the Bible, whose footsteps we should follow. Following their footsteps means doing the same kinds of things that they did, or being the kind of people that they were. Today's lesson is about some people who had to learn to trust God, just like people today also need to learn to trust God. We aren't born trusting God. We need to follow in their footsteps and make the right choice to trust God, just like they did.
Story: The Bronze Snake
When the Israelites were wandering in the desert, they started to complain and grumble. They blamed God and they blamed their leader Moses for their unhappiness. Because they spoke against God, God punished them by sending poisonous snakes to bite them!
So the people ran to Moses and begged for help. We're sorry! We were wrong. Pray to God, and ask him to make the snakes go away. Moses did pray to God, but God didn't take the snakes away.
Instead, he told Moses what to do, to keep the people from dying from the poison. He told him to make a metal snake, and put it up high on a pole, where anyone could see it. God said that if someone was bitten by a snake, they should look a the metal snake on the pole, and then they wouldn't die. And because God said it, it worked: when people who were bitten by the snakes looked at the metal snake, they didn't die. But people who didn't look at the metal snake died from the snakebites. It was their choice. They had to believe God and trust in his ability to save them.
Looking at the snake on the pole didn't work because metal snakes are magic. If you get bitten by a poisonous snake today, you wouldn't look for a metal snake. You'd look for a hospital. So why did looking at the snake on the pole work for the Israelites?
The snakes weren't their real problem. Their real problem was that they needed to trust God. That's why God sent them the snakes in the first place: because they needed to trust God. Looking to the snake, like God said to do, was something they could do to show that they were trusting in God to save them. Metal snakes don't save people from snakebite venom. But God can.
In the New Testament, a man named Nicodemus came to talk with Jesus. Nicodemus knew that Jesus was from God. Jesus told Nicodemus that he needed to be
born again, but Nicodemus didn't understand what it meant.
So Jesus explained:
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.Jesus was saying that in order to be saved from our sins, we have to trust in him, just as the Israelites in the desert who needed to be saved from snake poison had to trust in God's ability to save them, by looking at the metal snake on the pole. Jesus was going to be
lifted upon the cross, and when we look to him and believe that God can save us through him, we can be saved from our sins.
Invite any children who want to be saved to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.