John 3: 7-15
Acts 4:32-37 / Ps 93
If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
What seemed like a great tragedy
Was our own shame in Calvary...
But now Your cross has made us see
How God’s great plan set all men free.
Jesus told Nicodemus, “Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.” The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’ Nicodemus replied, ‘How can these things be?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? ‘Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And just 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 3:7-15)
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. He remembered His analogy of Moses and the image of the serpent that he made for those who were bitten by poisonous snakes and were saved as they looked up at the standard that Moses lifted up.
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 Christ. 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 He is always right. Look up to the cross and believe that He will heal or restore what we have suffered or lost.
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. Amen.