So the Son of Man must be lifted up. (John 3:14)

THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION has a very interesting symbol. It’s a staff with a snake curled around it. Their official statement explains that this is the Staff of Asclepius, the Roman god of healing. However, they also openly acknowledge its similarity to the event Jesus referenced in today’s passage: The Israelites were dying, and Moses was instructed place a snake on his staff and raise it up. Anyone who looked up at Moses’ staff would be healed and saved.

Jesus explained that like Moses’ staff, the Son of Man must be lifted up. Those who believe and look to Him will find eternal life, or spiritual healing. We only need the faith to look up, to look to Him, and we’ll be saved. Sadly, Jesus lamented, it’s hard enough for some to understand the straightforward earthly truths He taught, much less the spiritual ones. But this one is so important.

The physical healing of the Israelites who looked up is a real-life, tangible picture of the healing and salvation we experience when we look to Christ for salvation. They gained earthly life, we gain eternal. So, please, look to Jesus. Then, the next time you’re at the doctor’s office and glimpse the AMA symbol, let it remind you that the incredible healing God gives here on earth is but a picture of the greater work He performs in our souls.

On an index card, draw the AMA symbol as a reminder to look up.

Diane Gardner lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she enjoys theater, street fairs, and watching the sun set with her husband.