Born of the Spirit

John 3: 7b-15
Acts 4:32-37 / Psa 93

If you do not believe me when I speak to you about earthly things, how will you believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things?
(John 3:12)

What seemed like a great tragedy
Was mankind’s shame in Calvary...
But now Your cross has made us see
How God’s great plan set mankind free.

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “You must be born from above. The wind blows where it pleases; you can hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” “How is that possible?” asked Nicodemus. Jesus replied, “You are the Teacher of Israel, and you do not know these things! In all truth I tell you, we speak only about what we know and witness only to what we have seen and yet you people reject our evidence. If you do not believe me when I speak to you about earthly things, how will you believe me when I speak to you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of man; as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:7b-15)

Reflection

Jesus knew that none of the things He was telling Nicodemus would make any sense to him until he saw Him again crucified in Calvary. There he would remember our Lord’s prediction when He said, “The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life” (Jn. 3:15). Looking up at the lifeless form of Jesus on the cross in Calvary before he and Joseph of Arimathea took Him down for burial, Nicodemus finally understood all the things that our Lord had told him that evening when he came to Him in secret.

Jesus was also speaking to us, the future generations of Christians who would one day read His Gospel. We have also come to discern that unless we lift Him up above all our worldly concerns, we will never be worthy of His eternal kingdom. In every church and in every home hangs the cross bearing the image of our Lord Who was crucified for our salvation. It takes a gift of faith – which is what being born from above means – to believe the mystical plan involved in such a great act of mercy.

Every Christian who has experienced being “born in the Spirit” sets the standard of all his/her actions and decisions on our Lord Jesus. We have placed Him in the center of our life. Everything we think, say and perform in our day to day activities must be anchored on what is pleasing to our Savior. Whenever we are faced with a difficult choice, we would do well to ask: “Is this what you want me to do, Lord?” We should lift everything up to God, because we believe that He only wants what is best for us.

Lord, as Nicodemus saw in Calvary, I look up to Your cross, and I can see how futile life without Your love would be. From all my sins Your death has set me free. This I realized when I was born again in Your Spirit. Amen.

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