“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 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. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
The Need for Understanding
Nicodemus was a religious leader in Israel and a teacher of the people. He should have understood what was going on when Jesus came, but he did not understand because he did not realize that Jesus came from heaven.
When we realize the basic fact that Jesus is the Son of God from all eternity who came from heaven to earth and became a human being, we begin to understand.
When Jesus was lifted up on a cross, it did not look good. It was hard to understand how anything helpful might be happening. But there was a time when Moses lifted up a statue of a serpent on a pole, and the people who looked at it were saved from death.
Now a similar thing happens. Jesus was lifted up on a cross. His suffering there paid the punishment for our sins. Everyone who looks to him in faith will receive eternal life. It’s tough to understand, but Jesus came from heaven to accomplish and explain it.
We need to understand. God arranged everything because he loved us. Jesus did not come to condemn us because of our lack of understanding. Instead, he came from heaven to save us.
Lord, give me the understanding of your great love and keep me safe all the way to eternal life. Amen.