The Way of Redemption

John 8: 21-30
Num 21:4-9 / Psa 102:2-3,16-21

… if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.
(John 8:24)

Before the cross is my reflection:
In our trials and tribulation,
Lord we share in Your crucifixion
As a process of our salvation.

Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?” But He continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” They asked, “Who are you?” Jesus replied, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as He spoke, many believed in Him. (John 8:21-30)

Reflection

As we meditate on the Gospel reading of John, two important lessons from Jesus are revealed to us: faith in Him, and obedience to the Father’s will. These two in fact are the main, if not the only considerations in the life of every Christian that will guarantee a peaceful existence in this life, and our eternal destination.

Jesus said, “. . . if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins” (John 8:24). All true believers know by heart the sacred words spoken earlier by our Lord in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.” If you do not or cannot believe that Jesus is the Son of God Who became man more than 2,000 years ago in order to redeem us from our sins by willingly offering His life on the cross, “you will indeed die in your sins.” When a certain person close to me admitted that he had been remiss in joining family reunions, but pledged to make up for it in due time, I thought it was an opportunity to remind him that his smoking and drinking and lack of sleep may not be working in his favor. I said perhaps a reunion with his Maker should be his priority. Sadly, he brushed my advice aside, and said he didn’t have time to talk about spiritual matters. Looking at his frail body as he lighted another cigarette, I thought he certainly did not have the luxury of time.

Jesus said, “The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him” (John 8:29). Obedience to the laws of God is what pleases Him. That is more important than trying to please ourselves or other people in our lives. In fact no matter how hard we try to be pleasant or good to others, as I was trying to do with that person close to me, more often we will only be disappointed. There are times in our life when our efforts to win souls for Christ are ignored or even rebuffed. But as true followers of Jesus, we should never be discouraged or intimidated. All the more we should give it our best shot, because we believe it is what pleases God our Father.

Thank You, Jesus for giving us the will and inspiration to persevere in spreading Your Good News of salvation. Faith in Your Word and doing what is pleasing to God, our Father in heaven are what motivate us in our life’s mission.

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