The following is the result of a word study on the word “Serpent” found in the Garden of Eden story in Genesis. Was it really a serpent or another kind of creature known as “Nachash”? One definition of “Nachash”, according to Strong’s Concordance, is “to hiss, i.e. whisper a magic spell; to prognosticate…divine, enchanter, enchantment, learn by experience, diligently observe.” So with this understanding of the term “Nachash” it is easy to see how “serpent” came to be the translation. A further search into the root of the word “Nachash” is described as “copper” or “shiny” which then lead me to look into the word Lucifer which means “to shine; to make a show, to boast; and to rave, celebrate, commend, glory, give light…” Are you getting the picture?
The idea is that Lucifer was created to shine, to be a “light-bearer”, meaning he was meant to be an expression of the light of God but apparently he started to think he, himself, was the light. Obviously he began to believe his own hype therefore he was evicted from God’s Holy Mountain (Ezekiel 28:11-19). So, we see the “Nachash” (i.e. serpent) was shiny, and “Lucifer” was covered in precious, or shiny stones which would be shiny, right? The fall of Lucifer from the Mountain of God was quite the fall and couldn’t get much worse than the sentence of crawling on the belly and having dust for food could it? By this time you’re probably asking yourself, “What is this all about? What is he getting at here?”
The nature of a serpent, especially a constrictor, is to slowly squeeze the life out of its prey and then consume it. You see this is exactly what the enemy of our soul does. He has been “observing” us for quite sometime, and he knows just what it takes to “enchant” us into his range. Once he has attracted us by something “shiny”, he slowly wraps himself around us and begins the squeeze. The process of squeezing us may be so slow that the natural eye can’t even perceive that it’s happening, and that’s just what he wants. The last thing he wants to happen is for us to become alerted to his methods and be loosed from his bondage. So throughout the Bible the serpent is synonymous with the fallen Lucifer, also known as Satan, the enemy of our soul.
The good news is God has provided a solution. In the Gospel of John, Jesus used an Old Testament story to enlighten Nicodemus. He said, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.” Even though the old serpent has been putting the squeeze on humanity God has provided a door to freedom and His name is Jesus. Let’s look at the story of Moses and the serpent to refresh our memory.
In the 21st chapter of the book of Numbers, the Children of Israel are complaining, which wasn’t unusual for them to do, and God sent fiery, or shiny, serpents among them and they were bitten. Moses prays for God’s deliverance and God tells Moses to make a bronze, i.e. copper (shiny) serpent and place it on a pole. Now this serpent was specifically called a “fiery serpent” in the text, and the word “fiery”, interestingly enough, is the word “Saraph.” If that doesn’t ring a bell let me just say the word “seraphim”, as used in Isaiah 6, is derived from this same Hebrew word which is defined, “burning, poisonous creature (copper in color). So God’s provision for the bite of the fiery serpent is to place the image of a fiery serpent on a pole, and have all who have been bitten to look to it in faith, so they might be healed and live. This is exactly what happened on the cross.
On the cross, Jesus became sin! In His body, though sinless, He took in the nature of the Serpent, or Nachash, and died. Now before you get in an uproar hear me out. I am not saying Jesus committed sin or that He was joined to Satan in a spirit to spirit union. What I am saying is the Serpent spirit, which is Satanic, entered into Jesus’ body. When His body died and was buried the spirit no longer had a place to dwell. Then God, by way of His Holy Spirit took up residence within Jesus’ body again and raised Him back to life! This is prefigured for us in the Old Testament with the provision of the scapegoat. The scapegoat took the sins of the people upon himself and was driven out of the camp. This now makes sense as to how we are set free through His death, burial and resurrection because when we are joined to Christ we are taken through death and the grave only to be brought back out to walk in newness of life. Death is what frees us from the grip of the serpent.
With that being said, we can now understand 2 Corinthians 5:21 more clearly, “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” All who look to Jesus Christ, made sin (the serpent on the pole) on our behalf, in faith are healed! We are no longer in the death squeeze of that old serpent. We are now able to breathe freely walking in His nature and loving others in the way God intended.
In the end we are all either in the serpent’s clutches, filled with the serpent’s nature, or we are free in Christ, filled with His divine nature. Either way the solution to our problem only came about when Jesus Christ, the only one who should be shining, humbled himself in order to rescue all of us.
The following was borrowed from an unknown author, but I think defines these two natures very well so I will leave you with this.
“All love emotions are expansive, all emotions of hatred are restrictive.
Hope and faith are of the nature of love and expand the soul, while fear and doubt and despair are of the nature of hate and contract our souls, making us feel uneasy, and unhappy. The snake stands for contraction, for tightness and indrawing; while men fight and quarrel with one another they always resemble more or less the old snake, each drawing to its side, anxious for self-preservation. Freedom from the snake’s anguish can only be had by ceasing from the snake’s ways, and learning to obey the law of love, the first dictate of which is self-sacrifice.”
Of course without the Spirit of God there is no way for us to really love or be sacrificial, but thankfully God Himself resides in the believer, the one who continually looks in faith to Christ lifted up, and then He lives His loving, self-sacrificing life through us as though it is us.