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Jesus, Our Saviour in the Snake Pit – A Holy Cross Sunday Reflection by Cyril Haynes

September 21, 2013

Our Assistant, the Reverend Cyril Haynes, preached a powerful sermon on John 3:16 for Holy Cross Sunday. He explained that these familiar words are from a conversation Jesus was having with Nicodemus, a teacher of the Old Testament. To help Nicodemus understand what he was saying, Jesus alluded to part of the Exodus story, which Nicodemus, of course, knew by heart. In this part of the story, the children of Israel were dying from being bitten by poisonous snakes. In response, God told Moses to erect a snake made out of bronze on a pole so that everyone in the camp could see it. Then, when anyone was bitten, they had a choice they could make. If they desired to seek healing from God, they could look up to the snake on a pole, and they would live. 

Cyril then brought home the essential point in words like these:

Jesus is for us all that the snake in the wilderness was for the children of Israel. If you feel like you’re up to your neck in a snake pit, look up to the Cross for Jesus to heal you – he will give you the hope, the love, the life you need.


The image in the middle of this posting is of the brazen serpent cross by the Italian artist Giovanni Fantoni that stands on the top of Mount Nebo in Jordan. 

At our 8:30 Service, we spoke together the words of the hymn embedded below to conclude Cyril’s sermon.

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