Good Friday: The Seed, the Serpent and Chekhov’s Rifle

22 04 2011

Russian Playwright Anton Chekov famously wrote:

“If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

The author of Scripture knew this well, and He never hung rifles He was not planning to fire…

Act I

‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD had made…  Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
(Genesis 3:1, 13-15)

Act II

‘And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And 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. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.’
(Numbers 21:5-9)

Act III

‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.’
(John 3:14-15)

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2 responses

14 06 2011
Andrew Wilson

Why hasn’t this article been on whatyouthinkmatters? It’s brilliant!

14 06 2011
liamthatcher

Good question… I shall rectify that!

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