Just as the saraph serpent was lifted up on a pole in the desert for the people to see, and thus live, so the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, was lifted up on the cross for the salvation of the world. In these late Lenten days, the Church is looking to the Cross, looking toward Jerusalem, knowing that the hour of the Lord, in which he would pay the dear price of our salvation, is near at hand.
With hearts filled with gratitude, we come to this Eucharist, with our eyes fixed on our Lord lifted up for us, who pours himself out for us again and still. When we see him lifted up, we remember that he is “I AM,” our crucified and risen Lord, and whenever we look to him, we are saved from all that ails us, from our sins and brokenness, and we ourselves are lifted up to eternal life.
Our challenge in these late Lenten days is to be that icon of the Cross, like the saraph serpent, to whom people can look and find healing and salvation. We have to be the image of Christ crucified so that the world can become whole.