What is our biggest problem? Sin. Sin is what ails us. It brings with it all kinds of symptoms: selfishness, strife, loneliness, and broken relationships. Worst of all, as an act of rebellion, it separates us from the God who made us.

Some try to ignore their sin; others deny its very existence. Yet humanity has always sought healing for sin’s ailment, leaving no method untried in the search for pardon and peace.

The Epicurean sought it in pleasure; the Stoic sought it in duty. The Pharisees sought it in external righteousness. The monk sought it in the cloister of seclusion and meditation.

Augustine portrayed his weary search in his Confessions. John Bunyan spoke of it in his Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, and Blaise Pascal longed for it in his Penses.

But it is all useless. Humans are like prisoners in chains forced to break rocks with a sledge hammer all day long, only to repeat the process again the next day, . . . and the next . . . and the next. Like Sisyphus, because of his own deceitfulness, condemned forever to roll a boulder up the hill, only to have it roll back down again; such is our futile attempt to be free of our sin.

Until . . . until one day we saw the Savior and trusted in him alone. “Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to thy cross I cling.” Suddenly the chains of sin fell off and we were set free—healed by the medicine of the cross.

What brought the cure? The blood of Christ. A simple act of faith in Christ and his finished work on the cross cures sin’s disease forever.

Like the wilderness generation in Exodus who had been bitten by poisonous snakes in the camp, they had only to look at the bronze snake Moses had constructed, and they lived (Numbers 21:4-9).

I have visited Mt. Nebo in Jordan overlooking the holy land. Atop the mountain near the edge is the Brazen Serpent Monument. From one angle it depicts the bronze snake set up by Moses in the desert. From another angle, the sculpture depicts the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.

Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

God provides the sin cure in Christ. We appropriate it by simple faith in Christ.

Look . . . and live.