Today's Reading: Numbers 21:4-9
Moses made a bronze serpent and set it upon the pole, and so it was, if a serpent bit a man, and he was moved to look to the bronze serpent, then he lived. (Numbers 21:9)
He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The way of faith is God's way. There's nothing in you. It all comes from outside of you. Your salvation is a gift: Jesus died and rose for you. You're trust in Him is a gift: it was worked by the Spirit. Both Jesus' saving you and your trust in Him are delivered to you as a gift by the Spirit working in your Baptism, in Holy Absolution, and in the Supper of Jesus' Body and Blood.
Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone. It looks to Him and also to where He tells us to look. That's what we learn from the bronze serpent in Numbers 21.
The people of Israel rejected Yahweh. They wanted to go back to Egypt, but they also rejected the manna Yahweh had sent them and the water He had given from the rock. They wanted to live in the devil's kingdom and not Yahweh's church where He had placed them to be His people.
Then Yahweh sent snakes. By doing this, Yahweh moved them to repentance, but they weren't just sorry. No, repentance has two parts: being sorry for sin and having faith in Jesus and His promises.
The Lord moves us to repentance, too. He may bring upon us the consequences of our sins, but He will certainly use His Word, preached by your pastor, to bring you to repentance: to confess your sin and to receive in faith the forgiveness of that sin.
It's all outside of you. So it was for the Israelites, they were moved to look upon that serpent. They had faith in Yahweh's Word of promise--a faith that was worked in them by that very Word of promise. The promise was: "Look and live!" Moved by this Word of promise, they looked and lived!
That's you and me, too. Jesus has died and risen. He's delivered all His gifts and benefits. Your faith was created through these and it's sustained by them, too. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Salvation unto us has come By God's free grace and favor; Good works cannot avert our doom, They help and save us never. Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone, Who did for all the world atone; He is our one Redeemer. (Salvation unto Us Has Come, LSB 555:1)