by Travis Bryan III
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up” a clear connecting of the brass serpent on the pole in Numbers 21 to Christ crucified on the cross. A shocking truth, Jesus became the serpent (or “became sin” as it says in 2 Cor 5:21). Aaron’s rod thrown down became a serpent. This signifies Jesus thrown down on the cross and injected with the snake bite of sin becoming the serpent which swallowed up the rods which became serpents of the magicians. Evil self destructs at the cross. Serpent devours itself.
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it on a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. Numbers 21:9.
The fiery serpents were biting and killing God’s people so God gave instructions to Moses to put a brass serpent on a pole and any one who looked at it expectantly with faith would be healed of their snake bite.
This presents the odd circumstance that a serpent on a pole would destroy the power of fiery serpents. The power of a serpent destroys the power of other serpents. This is a foreshadowing of the redemptive Withdrawal principal of the cross, that Evil powers self-destructed in aikido-like fashion at the cross. Col 2:15. Aikido is where the thrust of the enemy is reversed and used to defeat the enemy. The recipient of the opponent’s thrust generates no thrust of his own.
Jesus was “made sin” at the cross. 2 Cor 5:21. He “became sin” in order to defeat sin. He became the serpent on the cross in order to defeat the serpent, Satan, who injected Him there with the unholy venom of Sin.
The sting of Sin (the venom of the snake bite) is Death and the strength of Sin is the Law (the Law of Moses). 1 Cor 15:56. Jesus became Sin, became the serpent on the pole (the cross), and thereby destroyed the works of the serpent, the devil. 1 John 3:8; Heb 2:14; Col 2:15. Jesus allowed the principalities and powers to destroy Him in order for Him to destroy them. Col 2:15. Their destruction of Him was His destruction of them. He was raised up out of destruction.
Another example of this principle is that the rod of Aaron, which when thrown down was turned into a serpent, swallowed the rods of Pharoah’s sorcerers and magicians which rods had also been turned into serpents. Ex 7:10-12. For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. Ex 7:12. Aaron’s rod later budded out with buds, blossoms and almonds. This budding rod signifies resurrection. The rod of Jesus thrown down into death and turned into a serpent becomes the rod of Jesus’ resurrection blossoms, Christ and His people raised up from the dead! Num 17:8.
The devil self-destructed when he killed Jesus. If Satan had known that he was actually defeating himself he never would have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Cor 2:6-8. The Adversary also self-destructs when he brings the cross of adversity against us believers. Believers are told in Luke 9:23-25 to take up this cross daily. This is saying for us to take up the very vehicle of Satan’s self-destruction, the cross of Christ. God then reverses Satan’s evil device back onto his own head. Ps 5:10; 7:15-16; 9:15-16; 10:2.
How does this play out in our lives practically speaking? Someone strikes a blow of slander, violence or evil against you. By turning the other cheek, absorbing the blow and loving your enemy in return we are enabled, thru the principle of the cross, to reverse the enemy’s evil back onto his own head. We kill this evil with kindness. But if we just retaliate, like the world does, we join Satan’s side in that very moment.
Are you fighting back against evil with the usual carnal weapons (2 Cor 10:1-4)? Or are you using the divine weapon of the cross? Retaliation means you are only perpetuating evil and causing it to be propagated and multiplied.
Are you overcoming evil with good (Rom 12:21)? Then evil’s acts will be boomeranged back on evil’s own head. Ps 7:15-16. The person who sinned against you may be so shocked by your kindness in the face of their assault they may eventually convert and come over to your side, God’s side. Satan will have lost possession of him!
When Satan and his principalities and powers swallowed up Jesus at the cross, they devoured themselves. This principle is the wisdom of God. He lets free will evil run its own course and eventually self-destruct. God is all the while whole a loving, humble Gentleman!
God has no vengeance of His own. His vengeance is to let the vengeful one self-destruct thru the principle of the cross. God has no anger except the enemy’s anger against Him be reversed back on the angry one’s own head. God has no wrath except the wrath of Satan (Rev 12:12) destroying its own source. God has no other judgment or justice than the Cross of Christ.
Satan ironically swallowed up himself at Calvary! Death swallowed up in victory. 1 Cor 15:54.