be lifted up
3:14 be lifted up. The means by which the new birth and the promised kingdom could be made effectual was the “lifting up” of the Son of man in a way analogous to the manner in which Moses lifted up the brasen serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:5-9). The dying Israelites who, by faith, would simply look on the impaled serpent (symbolizing judgment on their sins) would be healed of the deadly poison in their bodies and live.
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