The prophets never ceased to speak of God's faithfulness and compassion towards those who would return to him with trust and obedience (2 Chronicles 36:15). When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus he prophesied that his death on the cross would bring healing and forgiveness and a "new birth in the Spirit" (John 3:3) and eternal life (John 3:15). Jesus explained the necessity of his crucifixion and resurrection by analogy with Moses and the bronze serpent in the desert. When the people of Israel journeyed in the wilderness, they complained against the Lord and regretted ever leaving Egypt. God punished them for their stubborn and rebellious hearts by sending a plague of deadly serpents. When they repented and cried to the Lord for mercy, God instructed Moses: "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live" (Numbers 21:8).