Grace, Mercy and Peace to You from God our Father and Jesus Christ his Son Our Lord, Amen
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. And 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.
There are I suppose chapters in the gospel that deal more head on with the Doctrine of the Trinity than this chapter does. But then in these verses is hidden both the truth and the necessity of the doctrine of the Trinity. That Jesus is God, and how it can be that he is God along with the Father, when there is only one God, and yet still be two distinct persons. And then there is also the necessity that he be God so that believing in Him we may have eternal life.
First we must understand that the Trinity cannot be believed in the same way as earthly things are believed. It is hard enough to believe earthly things at times. Perhaps hard enough to believe people can be so full of hubris as to think they understand the world well enough to rule out God, and yet can’t explain how life began. That there is a God powerful enough to create and give us life, is an indicator in itself that we can not understand and believe in him as we do the ordinary things of life. With belief in God comes mystery and belief that he is beyond our comprehension, that we have to take him as he reveals himself.
And reveal himself is what he does in His son Jesus Christ, the only one who has descended from heaven, the only one who has then ascended. This is more than a geographical relocation. This speaks of the fact that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, that he is God made flesh, that he shares with the Father the divine attributes and eternal nature that make God God. He has descended, He has taken on human form, the form of a servant. And he has done so that he might be lifted up, as the serpent was lifted up. That is raised high on a pole so that all could see there salvation in a God who died for their sins. And this would not be possible if the blood he shed were the blood of a mere man, but Christ’s blood is the blood of God, with eternal weight and infinite value to atone for the sins of all mankind. And that is the truth and the necessity of the Triune God. Your salvation.
Now the peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.