“The custom of holding a crucifix before a dying person has kept many in the Christian faith and has enabled them to die with a confident faith in the crucified Christ.” By His prophet Moses God told the obstinate and impatient Israelites that “everyone who is bitten [by the fiery serpents], when he sees [the bronze serpent set upon the pole], shall live.” Later through His prophet Isaiah God said to His people “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” Jesus Himself teaches, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day.” And St. John later in his Gospel records how the events of the crucifixion unfolded in order to fulfill what was prophesied by God’s prophet Zechariah that, “they will look on Him whom they have pierced,” that the very sight of Jesus upon the crucified would cause those who looked upon Him to “mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over Him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”

So said Luther as we stand on the eve of the Sunday when we see the serpent pole ad hear that ” God so Loved the World”.