(JOHN 3:14, 15)



Here in (John 3:14) it says that “THE SON OF MAN MUST BE LIFTED UP”.  This is another “divine imperative” in the Word of God.  It is something that is absolutely necessary.  He must be lifted up.  We should first identify the person who is called the “son of man”.  The phrase “son of man” is found many times in the Old Testament scriptures.  It means man on the earth with all his weakness and frailty that is inherent in human nature.  In (John 3:14) the title “Son of Man” refers to the Lord Jesus Christ”.  He takes this title and thus identifies Himself with humanity.  In the New Testament, “the Son of man” is the designation that Christ most frequently applied to Himself while here on earth.  It relates Him to the earth and establishes His absolute identification with mankind.  He was truly man naturally and physically like that of all men.  But, He is also truly God being the Son of God.  While here on Earth, He was both God and man in one person.  It says in (1 Timothy 3:16) “Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh”.  His humanity was perfect morally, possessing the quality of sinless ness, unlike that of any other man.  Since “THE SON OF MAN MUST BE LIFTED UP” there are three things we want to consider about the “lifting up”, the cross work, of the Lord Jesus Christ, as found in (John 3:14, 15).  These include the following:








The cross was an absolute necessity. HE MUST BE LIFTED UP.  An investigation of (John 3:14) will help understand why this is so.  It says in this verse, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”.  The reference to the story of Moses is found in the Old Testament scriptures, in the book of (Numbers 21:4-9).  This passage can be considered by its revelation of “3 GREAT THINGS”.  These are as follows;


  • There was a “GREAT SIN” that was committed.  The children of Israel were passing through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land.  The people became grieved or discouraged because of their journey.  They complained to God about their circumstances and about the provision that God provided for them.  They said “our soul loatheth this light bread” (the manna from Heaven).  The “manna or bread from heaven” is a type or picture of Christ.  To complain against God’s leading and God’s provision was to complain against God Himself.  This was their “Great Sin”.  It is a picture of man’s rejection of God’s Son and God’s Savior, the one who is called “the true bread from Heaven” (John 6:32, 33).  My friend, have you ever received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior?  If not, you are rejecting Him.  Neutral you can not be.  You have either received Him or you are rejecting Him.
  • Their “great sin” resulted in a “GREAT NEED”.  It says in (Numbers 21:6) “The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, and much people of Israel died.”  The people sinned against the Lord.  Their sin brought them death.  It says in (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  It says also in (Ezekiel 18:20) “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”.  It is the same for you Dear Reader.  You have sinned against God because it says in (Romans 3:23)”All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.  Like the children of Israel, you too, have a “GREAT NEED”.  Ahead is death and judgment.  (Hebrews 9:27)”It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.  Men and women have been “bitten by the viper of sin” and are condemned to eternal death.  Your “great need” is salvation and deliverance from the wrath to come.
  • The “great sin” that resulted in the “great need” of the people led God to make a “GREAT PROVISION”.  It says in (Numbers 21:8,9) “The Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh  upon it, shall live”.  “It came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived”.  This leads us to the second point we want to consider regarding the cross work of the Lord Jesus Christ:




Notice the words again of (John 3:14) “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, EVEN SO MUST THE SON OF MAN BE LIFTED UP”.  The reason that the Lord Jesus must be lifted up on the cross, the reason why He had to suffer and to die, was to provide salvation for poor, lost, helpless sinners.  He alone is the Savior of sinners.  You can not do one thing to merit or inherit God’s salvation.  Dear reader, what are you depending upon to get you into Heaven?  Are you depending upon your church membership, your baptism, your priest or pastor?  None of these things can save you.  You’re so called righteousness or good works can not save you.   The scripture says in (Romans 3:10) “There is none righteous, no not one”.  It says also, (Titus 3:5) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us (or will save us).  The Hymn writer wrote the following words in this regard;


“Not the labor of my hands,

Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,

Could my tears forever flow,

All for sin cannot atone ---

Thou must save, and Thou alone”.


God’s “GREAT PROVISION” is in the giving of His Beloved Son.  It says this in that wonderful verse in (John 3:16) “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  It took the perfect sacrifice of “the Lamb of God” (the Lord Jesus Christ) to meet and satisfy all the demands of a Holy and Righteous God.  It says in (Hebrews 2:9) “By the grace of God He tasted death for every man”. It says also, (1 Peter 3:18) “Christ … suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”.  Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness.  It is a type or picture of Jesus Christ being lifted up on the cross.  When He hung upon that cross, He was bearing your heavy load of sins.  He was dying in your place, paying the price you should have paid.  Dear reader, does this touch your heart?  Have you ever considered what He did for you?  Have you ever stopped to consider that He died for you personally? 


The bitten Israelites did two things to survive their death sentence.  First, they repented of their sins.  They said in (Numbers 21:7) “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord”.  Second, they “looked and lived”.  It says in (Numbers 21:9) “It came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.  This leads us to the third point we want to consider about the “lifting up”, the cross work, of the Lord Jesus Christ;




Dear reader, have you ever repented of your sins?  Repentance has to do with sin.  It has to do with our attitude toward God.  Repentance is a change of mind as to who shall rule over us.  It is a decision of your will that God shall rule and self and Satan will be disposed.  “HAVE I REPENTED”?  It is a question of vital importance to every person.  If sinners do not repent they will be lost eternally.  The Lord Jesus said in (Luke 13:3, 5) “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”.  It says in (Acts 17:30) “God … now commandeth all men everywhere to repent”.  Notice the words of this verse closely;


·        “GOD” – “God” is the speaker.  Your creator.  The One before whom you must stand and give an account. 

·        “COMMANDS” – It is a Divine commandment that you repent.  God is not asking or begging.  He is commanding.

·        “NOW” – When should you repent?  The answer is “NOW”.  There is urgency about this matter.

·        “ALL MEN” – There are no racial exceptions or exclusions.  “All” means you my friend.

·        “EVERYWHERE” – There are no geographical exceptions or exclusions.  Dear reader, no matter where you live in this world, you are included.

·        “TO REPENT” – This is what you must do.  You must repent.  There is no salvation without repentance.  The message of the Gospel is “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”. (Acts 20:21).


Why does God command all men to repent?  The reason is found in the following verse (Acts 17:31) “Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him (Jesus Christ) from the dead”.  This is the reason why you must repent my friend.  Judgment is ahead and the Judge is the Lord Jesus Christ.  You will stand and give an account before the one that you rejected.  The Judge is the same one who died on the cross for your sins so that you might escape the judgment of God.


The Israelite not only repented.  It says that “when he beheld the serpent of brass, HE LIVED”.  The lesson is this my friend, you must repent and “look to the cross and behold the Blessed Savior who died in your guilty room and stead”.  You must believe in Him.  You must put your faith and trust in Him.  Have you ever looked to the cross for salvation?  The hymn writer wrote these lovely words about looking to the cross and the blessing that follows;

Upon the cross of Jesus

Mine eye at times can see

The very dying form of One

Who suffered there for me:

And from my smitten heart with tears

Two wonders I confess

The wonder of His glorious love,

And my own worthlessness


Will you “look and live”.  It says in (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him”.  Dear reader, as you read this message you are at “the crossroads” in your life.  Which way will you go?  Will you reject the Savior and God’s offer of salvation?  Or, will you receive Him, by faith, to be your Lord and Savior?  It’s your decision and your responsibility.


Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Will you be a believer or a non-believer?  Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.