Sunday Rest and Reflection: Lifting Up Jesus!

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ!  Welcome to another day of rest in His finished work of redemption!  It is at the cross that we find our rest with God and can enter into relationship with Him.  The cross of Christ draws our attention and draws us Him.

As I reflect back on this week’s reading in the Gospels of Luke and John, I am drawn today to chapter three of John.  Jesus had an encounter with a prominent teacher of the Jews, Nicodemus.  He came to Jesus by night to ask Him some questions.  Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was a teacher sent from God and noted the miracles that He had done.  Jesus told Nicodemus that no one could see the kingdom of God unless they were born again!  (John 3:3)  Nicodemus had trouble grasping how this might take place.  He was thinking about natural birth and growth when Jesus told him about the Spirit bringing the second birth. Nicodemus asked him how this could take place and Jesus answered him with one of the most famous verses in the Bible.

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14-16

Jesus used an incident in the life of Moses where the people were dying from a plague of poisonous snakes.  Moses had prayed to the Lord and God showed him what to do.  He was to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole and lift it up in the center of the camp.  Any Israelite who was bitten could look at the bronze serpent in faith, believing that God would heal him and receive that healing.  (Numbers 21:1-8)  Jesus presented Himself as the one who would be lifted up between heaven and earth.  All who looked at Him and believed, would be saved from the universal bite of the ancient serpent, Satan.

God’s great love for us motivated Him to send His Son to be lifted up for us!  Jesus, who knew no sin, was made sin for us that we might be saved.  All who would believe on Him would be born again by the Holy Spirit.  They would receive the gift of God’s heavenly Breath or Wind!  Eternal life is the realm of God Himself!  What amazing truth comes as we contemplate the lifting up of the Son of Man!

Now God has lifted Him to the highest place!  He is risen from the dead and ascended into heaven!  He is praying and interceding for us today!  We who believe are seated with Him and will see Him soon!  Hallelujah!

In His Love, Pastor John

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