The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up

Sin, Snakes and Antivenom

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The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up: “The views and opinions expressed by this lubber do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the crew. Reader discretion be advised.” – Staff

As Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up. (John 3:14-15)

The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up

I once heard a pastor say that she struggled to understand the significance of John 3:14-15. She knew the context of the Numbers reference, but confessed she wasn’t sure why Jesus used this phrasing to explain how he would die. John 3:14-15 is actually a very powerful passage, for it shows not only how Jesus would die, but why—and what benefits we would receive as a result.

A Snake on a Pole

The people grew impatient on the way. They spoke against God. (Numbers 21:4)

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them. They bit the people. Many died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take (sin) the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. (Numbers 21:6-7)

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten (sinned) can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake (sinned) and looked at the bronze snake, they lived(Numbers 21:9)

Sin, in its purest form, is man going against God. We go against his commands, his will, his instructions. Mutinous, rebellious, stiff-necked… all point to a heart that refuses to obey God. And when we sin, death is always the result: if not in our own life, in the life of someone else.

Sin, God’s Law, and Death

The power of sin is the law. (1 Corinthians 15:56)

We might be surprised to learn that God’s law empowers sin. Not that his law affirms sin. Heaven forbid! To say such is to pervert the purpose of God’s law. Rather, the law reveals God’s holiness.

All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law. All who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:12-14)

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7 )

The very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.  (Romans 7:10-13)

God’s law gives us a more complete understanding of God. And to whom much is given, much is demanded. (Luke 12:48) But what does this have to do with snakes in the desert?

In Egypt the Israelites could be excused, perhaps, for disobeying God. They were slaves. Their future looked bleak. Their memory of how God had brought Abraham from Ur to a promised land had dimmed.

Then God leads them out of bondage and into freedom. They are a new people. He has promised to bring them into a good land. He gives them his law (a picture of his character). In return they grumble and argue with God. So God sends snakes to strike them. Many die. And when they cry out for mercy, he tells them to look upon the thing that brings death to them: the snake.

Man on a Cross Lifted Up—A Super Savior

Fast forward 1,400 years or so. A savior comes who promises freedom. A new kingdom. Life, health, and wholeness. A savior who does not abolish God’s law but upholds every portion thereof. In Jesus the bite of the snake, the venom of sin, has no effect. He is immune to sin and sickness because he is the one who created the law, wrote the law, is the law. He is truth, life, and the light of man.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)

What the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so Jesus condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the (his) Spirit. (Romans 8:3–4)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory (life) through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Sin’s Antivenom

How does Jesus dying on the cross provide the antivenom for sin?

God’s law is infused into Jesus. It is his very nature. His tolerance for keeping the law is unending. Sin has no power over Jesus because he is the law. As a result, Jesus produces antibodies against sin: words from God that defeat every temptation to sin. With each attack, the antibodies—God’s word—beat back the enemy. When he was crucified on the cross, he shed his blood: blood filled with antibodies that bring life to believers.

The law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. (Romans 7:10-13)

In a similar way that antivenom is created from the venom of snakes, the antibodies for sin are harvested from the blood of Jesus and infusing those antibodies into our spirit. In response, those who have received the blood of Christ no longer die when bitten by (break) God’s law. Rather, they recover and regain their health. And should we find ourselves bitten and suffering from the affects of sin, we only need to ask Jesus to infuse us with his pure, Holy Spirit: the spirit that can cleanse even the foulest blood.

There are consequences to sin, but with the antibodies of Jesus we need not worry about experiencing the second death. Our bodies may perish but our soul will live.

The snake on the pole represents the consequences of sin. Look upon the snake and acknowledge that sin brings death.

“The Son of Man must be lifted up!”

The man on the cross represents sin’s antivenom. Look upon the man and receive his blood with antibodies shed for you.


Need=Seed=Feed for All You Need — (Luke 18:41-43)

Jesus’ Authority, Our Healing

Need=Seed=Feed for All You Need — (Luke 18:41-43)

As the Son whar on his way up ter Jericho a feller called out fer healing. In reply the Son shouted back, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Luke 18:41-43)

Once the chap hollered his bold request, the Son replied, “Receive what you have asked for. Your faith has healed you.”

Immediately the feller received his request.

Now if ya know the details of this story ya ‘ill recall the feller whar blind and asked ter see. But his request could ‘ave been any sort of affliction, not simply blindness. The important thing ter keep in mind is that, though blind, the feller seen a vision of himself being healed by the Son: seen it, he did, and believed the Son could do it.

What do ya need?

In our needs be the seeds of the provision we seek. Our needs expose barren areas in our lives and whar thar be a barren plot, ya kin bet that tilling, sowing, and tending ‘ill produce a crop if only we ‘ill not give up. (Matthew 7:7–8)

Some seeds shoot up quick like. Other seed takes more time. In either case, we kin not let our natural eyes blind us the vision of the crop that’ll come. When a farmer shows up each day plucking weeds, watering, running off pests, nourishing the soil, he shows that he has faith in the seed he buried.

Think on this a wee little bit: the Son be our buried seed. Fer three days he whar in the dirt, dead. But at the start of day three he sprung forth from that soil. And once the seed of the Son come forth as the first fruits of new life, he sowed the seed of his Father in us through the Word and Spirit.

The word of God be seed from inside the Son. Those who trek along the wide path that leads ter destruction ‘ill often times receive the seed, but then the devil sneaks in and steals the seed from thar hearts. Some seed gets buried in shallow soil and don’ grow strong roots. They believe fer a while, but eventually fall over dry as straw. Other seed gets robbed of nutrients by life’s worries, riches and pleasures. This seed produce puny stalks.

Still other seed lands good soil. These folks ‘ave noble and good hearts. They hear the word and retain it. They pluck sin from thar lives, keep the seed refreshed with living water, command the devil and his henchmen ter get gone from thar heart, and nourish thar mind with the words of Skipper. By persevering in this way, they produce a crop. (Luke 8:11-15)

If we be faithful enough ter trust a tiny seed buried in dirt, let us also be faithful ter sow seeds in our hearts fer the things we need: health, shelter, clothing, and food.

With yer mouth declare that what you need you now have. “I receive ____ into my life! ” Let yer faith in the Son, his power and mighty name, turn yer need inter good seed. Then immediately be about the business of preparing ter bring in the harvest.

Need=Seed=Feed—that’s spiritual sowing Jesus’ way.

A Prayer Of Healing Fer ’em Ya Love — Luke 13:31-34

Jesus’ Authority, Our Healing

Lord, while ya went about teaching and preaching, some religious fellers warned ya ter leave cause that fox Herod Antipas might wish fer yer head on a platter. In reply ya said, “I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.” (Luke 13:31-34)
We know yer goal be fer all ter come to ya, that none be lost ter the devil and eternal destruction (2 Peter 3:9). Fer this reason we bring ’em we love ter ya and ask that ya add ’em ter the list of folks ya ‘ill heal, cleanse, and fergive. Lord, move in thar hearts and draw ’em ter ya.
Because ya gave us all power and authority ter bind and set free, we declare that in yer name, _____ be set free from the affliction attacking thar body. In yer name we declare that all unclean spirits attacking _____ be cast inter the abyss and bound until the day of judgment. Lord, we ask right now that ya whisper these words ter _____’s spirit: “Daughter/Son, you are healed.”

_____ ya be healed in the mighty name of Jesus!

Meditate, Don’t Medicate — Luke 11:34

Jesus’ Authority, Our Healing

Luke 11:34

Yer eyes be the lanterns of yer body (Luke 11:34). When yer eyes take in sights that be worthy of praise and goodness,  that be noble and pure, yer body ‘ill light up and be healthy (Luke 11:35) (Philippians 4:8). Yer mind, body, and soul ‘ill flourish.

But when yer eyes draw in darkness, yer body ‘ill be filled with all manner of unclean spirits. Demons of doubt, discouragement, division, hate, death, violence, lust, perversion, and such take hold of ya (Luke 11:34).

See ter it then that the light within ya be the light of the Son, not the darkness of the devil (Luke 11:36).

If anything causes ya ter stumble, shut yer eyes ter it. Better ter walk around with yer eyes shut and stump yer toes, than ter ‘ave yer whole body cast inter a place of torment (Matthew 5:29).

As a feller thinks in his heart, so he be (Proverbs 23:7). Therefer, make it yer task ter protect yer heart, fer from yer heart flows the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23).

Doth ya ‘ave a sour outlook on life? Doth ya feel worried, anxious, fearful? Ya kin be sure this come inter yer body, mind, and heart from the devil of darkness. Cast it out! Tell that lying rascal the devil ter get gone!

The devil be the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-3). All his ways be dark and filled with death. Turn him out. Cut him off fer he gets a chance ter speak inter yer heart.

Spend more time in Skip’s words and less on the news of the day.

Spend more time in prayer with Skip and less time reading bawdy books and watching scandalous spectacles and stage performances meant ter titillate. Be careful, little eyes, what ya see, fer what ya take in becomes the seeds of what ya harvest.

Spend more time praising Skip and less criticizing others.

Spend more time thanking Skip fer all he gives ya, even down ter yer next breath, and less complaining ’bout what others done and what ya don’ ‘ave.

If we ‘ill meditate on what be good rather than bad, on Skip rather than the works of the devil, we ‘ill soon find we ‘ave no need ter medicate.

Lord, help us today to turn off the news and shows and songs that glorify evil rather than you. Put within us a desire to read your words, to love your words, to eagerly seek to hear from you each day. Turn our criticism of others, and you, into praise. Turn our complaining into thankfulness. Help us to look on the bright side of things, your pierced side—the side that brings healing and abundant life. If there be anything unworthy, anything you could not look upon, help us to look away and shut our eyes to it. Amen.

Side With Skip in All Matters and Watch the Devil Run — Luke 11:14-28

Jesus’ Authority, Our Healing

Luke 11:14-28

One day the Son happened upon a feller who whar under attack and bound by a mute demon. The chap could not speak, not a word. Taking pity on him, the Son drove out the mute demon.

A good many think thar afflictions be natural—that thar bodies simply be broken by nature and unless a good doctor or ship’s surgeon kin fix ’em, they be cursed ter live this way fer all thar life. But the Son says otherwise.

Looking at the folks gathered ’round him the Son announced, “The kingdom of God has come to you. When someone stronger than Satan attacks and overpowers him, Satan is stripped of his armor and overpowered.”

Though he didn’t come right out and say it, that someone be the Son.

As evidence in the power of the Son’s declaration, the chap with the mute spirit spoke: piped up loud, like, and sent tongues ter flapping.

“Satan has been defeated,” the Son declared, “and those held captive by him are liberated. His spoils are divided.”

Though the Son defeated Satan ever time while he walked the earth, the fullness of this declaration didn’ come ter fruition until the Son died on the cross and rose from the grave. In full sight of all, the Son’s resurrected body demonstrated that Satan no longer holds any power of us. Least ways not if we ‘ave the Son in us and we be in the Son.

But some in the crowd grumbled out loud, claiming that the Son was in league with the devil.

“The one who does not fight with me, fights against me,” the Son replied. “Those who through apathy and lack of love for their neighbor fight with Satan.”

A good many think that if a body be bound by unclean demons that be of no concern ter us: that if demon spirits take hold and make a feller or lass mute, deaf, blind, sick, lame, leaper, infected… that be perfectly acceptable…. that such simply be the state of things in this fallen world. But the Son says otherwise.

“Satan’s work will not stand. Satan will not stand. Beelzebub, the prince of demons, is ruined.”

Not once did a demon resist the Son and win. Ne’er did Satan and his henchmen attack and win while in the presence of the Son. Healing comes through the Son. Deliverance from demons comes through the Son. We only need ter declare that the Son be more powerful than Satan and believe that declaration.

A woman called out, “Blessed is your mother!”

The Son replied, “Blessed instead are those who hear the word of my father and obey!”

Skipper says, “By his stripes, by the wounds, lashes, and beating my boy took for you and his death on the cross, you are healed.  (Isaiah 53:5)

Believe it. Declare it ter the devil. Remind him ever’ time he be defeated, stripped of his armor, and his spoils divided—that the devil be a loser and he and his demons ‘ill be captured and cast inter the abyss.

A divided house kin not stand. Neither can a divided mind know the will of Skip. Side with Skip in all matters of faith and belief and watch the devil and his demons run.

Lord, you declared, “Satan has been defeated and those held captive by him are liberated. But the one who does not fight with me, fights against me.”

Oh Lord, may we fight with you and take our stand against the powers of darkness that seek to steal and kill (name those bound by the devil) through demons of sickness, affliction, and injuries. Through our apathy and because we do not love as you love, we allow Satan to attack and destroy our neighbors.

Lord, you declared, “Satan’s work will not stand. Satan will not stand. Beelzebub, the prince of demons, is ruined.”

Not once did a demon resist you and win. Never did Satan and his demons attack and win while in your presence. If we are in you and your righteousness is in us, no demon, no sickness, no unclean spirit can come against us and stand. 

Healing comes through you alone. Deliverance from demons comes through you. We only need to declare your name and believe you have healed us by your stripes.

Therefore we boldly proclaim that (name those who were bound by the devil) are healed! Lord, open their spiritual eyes that they may see the healing you’ve already provided.



Your Unbelief and Perversion — Luke 9:37-41

Jesus’ Authority, Our Healing

Luke 9:37-41

After witnessing the glory of the Son during his time with Moses and Elijah, Simon, James, and John returned ter the valley, joining the other Nine. Having failed ter cast out a demon, the Son rebuked the Twelve. “You and your unbelief, your perversion. How long must I put up with you?”

Ouch. Even ter day the Son’s rebuke still stings across the ages.

Though the Son be willing ter entrust us with his authority and power, we refuse ter believe healing comes from him ter others through us. Worse, the Son calls this not merely incredulity, but deviant behavior.

It be as if the Son says ter us, “Belief in me should be your normal reaction to all things. And if I believe in you enough to give you my power to heal, then your belief in healing, wholeness, and casting out vile spirits should be your normal reaction to all sickness.”

Let us take a moment ter plead fer mercy due ter our fickle hearts, then repent and step out in faith.

Lord, we repent of our doubts and denial of you. We confess that ter often we ‘ave squandered the power you ‘ave entrusted ter us ter heal all.

You commanded us ter go and preach yer Good News and heal all, but ter often we declare terrible news to those in need of healing and claim we simply be “telling it like it is.” We offer prayers without starch that lack faith in yer power to cast out sickness. Fer give us, Lord. We not be deserving of this calling.

And still you command us ter be yer hands, yer eyes, yer ears, and speak yer words of healing. Therefore right now we speak healing inter the lives of ______, ______, and ______.

______ be healed! In the powerful name of Jesus we cast out all affliction that whar binding ______’s organs and tissue. In the powerful name of Jesus we declare ______ healed!

Amen and hallelujah!


The Son Took the Little Girl by the Hand and Her Spirit Returned — Luke 8:40-55

Jesus’ Authority, Our Healing

The Son Took the Little Girl by the Hand and Her Spirit Returned — Luke 8:40-55

While all whar expecting the Son ter show up, a synagogue ruler happened by. Seeing the Son approaching, the chap fell at the Son’s feet. The ruler’s only daughter lay on her bed, dying. At the age of twelve, she be thrust inter the realm of reasoning fer herself, of judging fer herself if Skipper be the one and only true God—and if so, had tha lass lived up ter all of Skip’s Code of Conduct?

As the Son and the synagogue ruler discussed the girl’s health and future, some folks from the man’s home come up and told the father that his little girl whar dead.

“Don’t bother,” they said. “She has passed on.”

Don’t bother. How often ‘ave we heard this from those who refuse ter believe in the Son.

“Don’ bother telling me ’bout yer Jesus. I don’ believe a word of it.”
“Don’ bother preaching ter me ’bout heaven and hell. I don’ believe a word of it.”
Don’ bother trying ter convince me there’s a God in heaven who loves me. I don’ believe a word of it.”

The Son replied with a different sort of “don’t.”

“Don’t be afraid.”

Afeard: that be whar most end up on thar death bed—afeard they bet wrong ’bout the Son.

Ter be sure, some brave souls put on a stiff face and march inter hell like it be no big deal. From our side of things we cannot hear thar tortious cries, fer in the land of the livin’ the grave snuffs out all wailing and weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Do believe,” the Son told the father.

Ter the little girl, the Son said, “Be healed.” Though he whar not in her presence, the Son ‘as the power ter speak life across the universe.

Right off the pair got up and trekked ter the father’s home. Once thar, the Son commanded all ter, “Stop wailing. The little girl is not dead.” But the doubters only laughed at him.

Because disbelief in the Son be belief in the devil’s lies, the Son put out the mockers and only allowed those who believed in his power and righteousness ter join him in that intimate moment of healing.

With flesh eyes the doubters knew the child ter be dead, but the Son seen something else. He seen her alive again, fer he had spiritual eyes, eternal eyes. Eyes that see what normal fellers kin not see.

Bending down, the Son took the little girl by the hand and her spirit returned. 

  • Power over death.
  • Power ter return departed spirits.
  • Power ter give eternal life ter all who ask.

This be the Son who comes fer us. This be the savior fer all who believe in his name and glory. 

Make it yer task ter day to bring all who be dead in thar sins ter the feet of Jesus. Beg him ter take ’em by the hand lift ’em up inter eternal life with him.