Posted on Thu, Apr 7, 2011
April 7, 2011 Sarah Howes
26th Day of Lent John 3:14-15
“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.”
In today’s scripture, Jesus is talking to Nicodemus, a Jewish leader who has come under cover of night and recognizes Jesus as being a teacher sent from God. Jesus refers to a time when the Israelites were grumbling in the wilderness against God and, in frustration, God sent poisonous serpents into their midst. Moses prayed for the people and, relenting, God told Moses to take a serpent, lift it on a pole and let the people know that those who were bitten by the snakes could look upon the bronze serpent for healing and thus be saved (Num. 21:8).
In relating himself to the bronze serpent, Jesus is foreshadowing God’s plan of salvation. Jesus will also be lifted up—as we now know, first on the cross, then in resurrection and again to heaven. When we look to Jesus for healing and salvation, God promises us eternal life. The bronze serpent saved people’s physical lives and Jesus, the Son of Man, also grants eternal life for the soul.
Eternal life is not just for the hereafter but also for the here and now. I think of us as living radios or televisions—at any time we can tune into the presence of God around us, the “God Channel” if you will. Communion with that healing, saving presence is always available. Sometimes God sets our dial for us but usually we need to tune in ourselves. There are many ways to tune in but this season leads us to cast our eyes upon the lifted Christ: the sacrificial generosity of Jesus on the cross, His astonishing and reassuring presence in the resurrection, and the trust that He does not desert us at His ascension. In fact, sends His spirit, the 24/7 God Channel, to envelop us with loving care. Not only do we benefit from tuning in but we can also be the instrument that helps others to hear the good news of God’s love.
Prayer: Thank you God for Your relentless love despite our frequent rejections of you. Help us tune in to your movement in our lives so we may feel your love and share it with others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
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