We are given an example in Scripture of how to interpret what we are afraid of. Jesus was expounding God’s Word to Nicodemus, a famous rabbi who secretly supported him. Nicodemus then hears Jesus say, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, the Son of Man must be lifted up as well.” So what is Jesus talking about?
In the Old Testament account of God delivering His people from slavery in Egypt to The Promised Land, God’s people were angry at Him and Moses because of the arduous desert journey. The account becomes bizarre as venomous snakes bite and plague them. The people repent and ask Moses to speak to God. Wouldn’t God answer Moses’ prayer by getting rid of the snakes? God instructs Moses to put a copper snake on a pole and said that when His people look at the snake, they’ll be healed. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung, whose father was a minister, interpreted this passage from a soul perspective. He said when a snake bites us, we want to ask God to take away the snake. But God says no, because He’s going to make you bigger than the snake. When we ask God to take away the desert, He says no because He’ll make you tough enough to get through the desert.
When Moses raised up the snake pole, he called them to look at what they were afraid of. Then when they looked at it and stared into its eyes, they became who they’re called to be — people who don’t back away from what they’re afraid of. Friend, you can look up to Jesus! You can trust and believe in Him. It is then that you are strengthened and healed.