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Lent Week 5 Tuesday – Look Up!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 102; John 8: 21-30

Snakes have a terrible reputation. Their anthropomorphic representations such as Kaa, The Lady of the Green Kirtle and Lord Voldemort, are always sly, cunning and evil characters. The Bible is bookended by the cunning serpent in Genesis and the “ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray”, in the Book of Revelation. Even Our Lord insults the Sadducees and Pharisees by calling them “serpents and a generation of vipers.” It is no surprise that Christians have often represented sin using the image of a serpent.

When the wandering Israelites fail to trust in God they are punished for their sin by a plague of fiery serpents, which kill many of the people. They repent for their sin and God instructs Moses to build a brass serpent and to put it on a standard. God promises that all who look upon this raised brass snake or Nehushtan will live. This episode foreshadows the salvation found in the Cross. Due to our fallen nature we will often come under attack from the ‘fiery snakes’ of sin and if we lose sight of our Lord, if we do not put our Faith in Him, we will die in sin. When Our Lord is “lifted up” upon the Cross, we must look up and see, as the centurion did, that Jesus is the Son of God.When we do this, we shall live and be healed, because all sin is crucified with Him. His Blood will heal and save all who ‘look up’ and believe.

Mark Davoren


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