The Israelites in the wilderness on the way to the Promised Land seem to be constantly complaining. (Do you know anyone like that?) This time, they complain about the food God has provided (the manna). These complaints usually result in God’s anger and threat to destroy them. As usual, Moses intervenes and God’s anger is abated. Instead of better food, God sends serpents that bite the people and many die. As a remedy, Moses makes a bronze pole with a snake. (the source of the caduceus) Those who look on the image are healed. The church has looked upon this as a “type” of Jesus on the cross. When we look at the crucifix, it should remind us that Jesus has healed us of our sins.