Jesus Lifted Up

John 3:9-15 (NIV)

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

Jesus told Nicodemus that everyone must be born of water and the Spirit in order to enter the Kingdom of God. This was revolutionary! In Nicodemus’ mind, one would enter the Kingdom of God based upon their Jewish heritage. Now Jesus is uttering things so foreign to his mind that he just couldn’t grasp it. Jesus was so flabbergasted that this esteemed teacher of Israel could not see the fulfillment of prophecy right before his eyes.
Jesus tells him that the Son of Man must be lifted up. He was referring to the cross for the first time. From the outset of His ministry, Jesus knew that the cross was awaiting Him. He referred back to a story from the Old Testament when Moses lifted up a bronze snake on a pole. The Israelites had been bitten by poisonous snakes because of their disobedience to God. God saved His people by having them look upon this bronze snake Moses lifted high. So too with Jesus. He was lifted up on a tree (cross) and everyone who calls on His name will be saved.
So many people claim to be so wise and filled with understanding, yet they are ignorant of the spiritual things of God. Nicodemus was a man of learning, yet he didn’t get the most rudimentary teachings of Jesus. Those who think they’re so smart end up looking like fools in the end because they will not humble themselves to accept the teachings of Jesus.
PRAYER: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to be lifted up so that I may be healed. Thank You for Jesus’ willingness to die so that I may live. I want to live for Him today in faith. Help me when my doubts and fears are stronger than my faith. I need grace for this journey. In Jesus’ saving name, amen.

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