Again it is helpful to work the message of Numbers 21:6
Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.
People died and YHWH moved, not to bring the dead back, but to demonstrate his preservation of His travelling people. Again we see how precisely the narratives of the sacred texts inform us of the practical dimensions of the glorious gospel.
Really dead and condemned
Moses’ elevated bronze serpent is one of those graphics that tells only so much about the Saviour’s mission. Could there be one facet of ancient revelation that tells it all, that is not blood (life) and grace (God’s attitude)? The person who has not believed in Christ is condemned for not believing. Having no participation in God’s life and having only human desires and aspirations is death.
In response to the serpent-bite outbreak YAHWEH ordered something intended to drill down into the experience. The last thing they wanted to see was a serpent, of any kind. The dying Israelite who looked lived, surviving the venomous bite.
Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. Numbers 21:6
Who would have thought that God’s answer to our ongoing sin problem was to have us look at a dying sinner, His son who had taken onto himself all of our sins? Salvation story is not told in any single Old Testament narrative, and the elevated bronze serpent is one that tells one slice. So to claim that “tabernacle” or sayings like “whole duty of man” are the bedrock of the gospel is pure fiction.
Life for people dead in trespasses comes only from Christ and his sacrifice. Elevated serpent is obviously another matter.
Still think that John 3:16 is about life for a dead race?