Meditation for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross
(Num 21:4-9; Phil 2:6-11; Jn 3:13-17)
This ancient sign of the bronze serpent prefigured the sign of the Cross. “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 Cross of Christ became the fulfillment. On the Cross, Jesus bore the burden of our sins and died for us (Is 53:4). “By His wounds, we are healed” (Is 53:5).
So Jesus Christ on the Cross was lifted up as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent; lifted up with the burden of our sins above our fallenness, towering over us with the healing of our wounds by His own wounds. ‘Lifted up’ He became an offering for our sins to the Father. “Therefore, God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name…” That means our eyes must be fixed on him to be healed of the wages of our sins and be reconciled with God; and it is with the eyes of faith that we behold Him. Thus, those who believe in Jesus look upon Him to receive forgiveness of their sins. And the life He gives in return is eternal life. Those who saw the bronze serpent of old later died, but those who behold Jesus crucified will have eternal life!
That is why we exalt the Cross of Jesus; “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the savior of the world…” The Cross has become our crossover from death to life.
The Cross that crushed the head of the ancient serpent with all his plans to lead the children of God astray.
The Cross that carries us through the crossroads of life.
The Cross, in which we are lifted up and above every fear, pain, and sorrow.
The Cross is our ultimate sign of victory.
And through the Cross, we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.