The children of Israel are weary of the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land and they begin complaining against Moses their leader. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? We are sick of this food.” God becomes angry with their ungratefulness and brings swift punishment. He sends venomous snakes and may people are bitten and die. The people repent and beg Moses to ask God to forgive them and stop the snakes.
God told Moses to make a snake and put it on a pole and everyone who looked at the snake would live. Jesus teaches about this lesson and says even as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness so will the Son of Man be lifted up. And when you lift up the Son of Man then you will realize I AM.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan disguised as a snake introduces sin into the world. Many different kinds of snakes kill and most people will stay away from all snakes. We all have the Satan/snake image. The snakes that God sent to the children of Israel were a visible example of how sin kills. The curse of sin was death and Jesus said He would take that curse so that all men may know forgiveness. Jesus was lifted up on the cross so that we would look to him and live.