Serpent on a Pole

18 Jun, 2013

This is a photo of a typical NYC ambulance. The most visible symbol on it is the serpent wrapped around a pole. Take a look next time an ambulance passes you by or you are visiting someone in the hospital. The serpent on the pole is everywhere. This symbol is associated with the medical profession and is used on ambulances and hospitals all over the world. Why?

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14-15

Numbers 21 recounts how the children of Israel were dying after being bitten by venomous snakes. Moses was instructed by God to make a brass serpent, set it on a pole, that whoever looked upon the serpent would be instantly healed of the venom.

This was a real event that literally took place, but it also served as a symbolic foreshadowing of the real saving power that came through Jesus’ crucifixion. The snake represents sin, and the snakebitten person is like a lost person who is dead in their sins. Those bitten by the serpents needed a Savior. Jesus Christ became sin for us when all our sin was placed upon Him on the cross. He became like the brass serpent.

To look at the serpent on the pole is more than a mere a glance. It means “to fix your eyes upon and consider”. So consider His great love and what He did for you today. It will heal and cure you: spirit, soul, and body.

-by Pastor Bojan Jancic