One thing that I hope you have noticed in the book of John is how often we go back to the Old Testament to understand what Jesus is saying. This theme will continue in the book of John because Jesus coming to earth is in fulfillment of everything in the Old Testament.
Notice what Jesus said in John 3:14-15, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life”. The reality of our lives is just like the life of those in Numbers 21 that Jesus is talking about. Here is what is going: the people were surrounded by snakes! They were being bit and many of them were being killed by the snakes! But there is good news. God provided for his people a way of freedom, a way of life. All they had to do to be safe from the snakes is to look to the bronze stature that Moses lifted up. Listen to Numbers 21:9, “ Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live”.
How are we like these people? The bible tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death. We are at risk of death. But there is good news. Jesus says that he is like the bronze serpent that Moses lifted up, it pointed forward to him. Jesus was lifted up on a cross like the bronze snake and all who repent and look to Jesus will be saved.