Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lifted Up

9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you [6] do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. [7] 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (John 3:9-15 (ESV)
Nicodemus is a little confused as to “how these things can be.” Jesus gets a bit indignant at this point. “We speak of what we know.” Not just Jesus here, but the apostles too, his whole church responding to those who don’t believe. How can these things be? I’m always puzzled when supposed believers ask these questions. Things like how can water give someone the Holy Spirit. Or how Jesus can be present with his body and blood in the supper? A person who asks these questions, does he believe in a God for whom all things are possible? Does he believe in a God who created the earth? These things are possible, these things are real, because God has said so. Jesus though tells him how it is he know, he has descended from heaven. And then he says why it is that he has descended. He has descended in order that he would be lifted up, lifted up as the serpent was lifted up by Moses. He references the coming crucifixion there he would be lifted up, and whoever believes in him and what he did there will have eternal life. Believes in it, means to trust it with your life. Trust your life in the death of a man who died for you. It would be silly if that was the end of the story. But he was lifted up again. He was resurrected, and lifted up into the heavens. There he waits to come again in glory. He is lifted up to the right hand of God the Father. And a man with that authority is a man to be trusted.

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