When fiery serpents were sent among Israel, their deadly bite caused the Israelites to admit that they had sinned. However, God also sent a cure for the serpent bite; He told Moses to make a bronze serpent and place it on a pole. Those who had been bitten and were doomed to die could look at the bronze serpent and be saved from death. Jesus later cited this passage in reference to salvation from sin (see John 3:14,15).
The Ten Commandments are like ten biting serpents that carry with them the venomous curse of God’s Law. This Law convicts us of our sin and drives us to look up to the One lifted up on a cross, the Messiah, who saves us from death due to judgment under God’s Law. It was the Law of Moses that put Jesus on the cross. The Messiah became a curse for us, and redeemed us from the curse of the Law (see Gal. 3:13).
Numbers 21:6 So tthe Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died.7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent,and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live.”9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.