Throughout the Bible we find many types of symbolism, much of it being prophetic in nature. For me, it is truly joyous in studying these things and learning how much Jesus is glorified through them. One of my favorite studies of this type is the tabernacle which Moses was told to build. That study is much too long and detailed for the purpose of this writing, however, at a later time I may break it down into smaller segments and include them in multiple, sequenced writings. One good example, for this writing, is the brass serpent found in Numbers 21:
Numbers:21:7: Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
Numbers:21:8: 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.
Numbers:21:9: And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Although this literally happened, it was also a precursor to a greater fulfillment. The serpents bit people which is the literal event. The symbolism can be seen in the serpent (satan and sin infecting the people). Moses then is told by God to make a serpent on a pole and whoever will look upon it shall live, so Moses made a brass serpent and put it upon a pole.
The symbolism here is what we now know as the crucifixion. In the Bible, brass usually represents judgment. When we see the brass serpent upon the pole it is symbolic of God’s plan for redemption. Jesus became sin, which is why the brass serpent is a representation of Him, and the sin of the world being judged. Yet, we must understand that only applies to those who look to Him.
If you have ever wondered why many ambulances are adorned with the “serpent and stick” logo, you can now see the symbolism and have a greater understanding of the true meaning. Let Jesus be praised, just as He heals the physical ailments He also heals the spiritual ailments eternally for all those who look to Him!