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And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

21:8 he looketh upon it. Although this is only one of at least forty miracles during the exodus and wilderness wanderings, it is especially important as a prophecy of the coming work of Christ on the cross. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,” said Jesus, “even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14,15). Sin, symbolized by the serpent, must be put to death, as it were. This death must be appropriated in faith as his own deserved death by the sinner, if he would live. Just so, Jesus Christ was made “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21).

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