Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In the first reading today from Numbers 21, we see a bit of typology. God told Moses to make a bronze serpent and mount it on a pole. Whenever someone looked at it, they would be healed of their bite from a serpent. This was a foreshadowing of the cross of Christ. In fact, Jesus mentions this very passage in today’s Gospel reading from John 3.
Isn’t it interesting how God works? When the children of Israel were bitten by a serpent, they needed only to look up at the bronze serpent lifted up on a pole and they would be healed. Then, in the course of time, we, when bitten by the serpent (read: the devil) would be able to look up at the Son of Man lifted up on a pole (the cross) and be healed.
Herein lies the great paradox of the cross. The cross was an instrument of torture, and instrument of death. Yet as Christians, we look at it as a giver of life - new life in Christ Jesus. Everlasting life. And this is why we exalt the Cross of Christ. It symbolizes not death, but life!
Father, we exalt the Cross of Christ. While the world sees it as foolishness, help us to proclaim it as it is - entrance to new life. Amen.
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