3 February 2022
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.” (John 3: 13-15)
Just as those who were dying in the time of Moses could live without dying by looking up at the bronze snake, those who look up to Jesus Christ can be saved in this day and age. Jesus was raised like a bronze snake (verse 14). That is, he was crucified.
When we look at the cross, we see the Lamb of God. He is the savior who removes the sins of the world. But if we look at the cross from a different perspective, we can see the shape of our enemies, the snake, the devil, and the sinner. Jesus became a serpent and a sinner, removing the poison of the serpent and the poison of sin from our hearts.
By looking up at the snake, the Israelites were completely detoxified of the snake and given their lives. Similarly, looking up Jesus Christ crucified will remove the poison of sin from our hearts. This is the Gospel, Good news. This gospel has reborn us. Those who believe in Jesus Christ can have eternal life (verse 15).
16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (John 3: 16-21)
We can see the love of God the Father in verse 16. God loved each of us. God the Father gave us the only son, Jesus. God the Father sent Jesus to this earth. He wants to deliver humans from sin, from destruction, from darkness, from the hands of the devil.
There is a famous hymn called “Amazing Grace”. It is no exaggeration to say that Amazing Grace is the most famous song in the hymns. The song was written by Rev. John Newton in 18th century England.
The first lyrics is as follows.
What an amazing grace! A miserable person like me will be saved!
I was once lost, but now it’s found. It used to be blind, but now it’s visible.
John Newton wrote this hymn with gratitude, impressed by the amazing grace of God in his life. Grace is God’s love that is poured into those who are not originally worthy of blessings.
John Newton ( 1725-1807 ) was a British Navy soldier, slave trader, and pastor. He is the lyricist of the hymn “Amazing Grace”.
A reversal has occurred in his life. He used to be involved in the black slave trade and treated blacks badly, but a turning point has come. The ship he was on was hit by a storm, his hull was damaged, seawater flowed in from the damaged hull, and eventually he was in danger of capsizing. Even life is in jeopardy. He prayed seriously to God for the first time in his life. The desperate situation lasted for a long time, but his prayers were answered, the strong winds gradually weakened, and the inundation subsided. He was saved from the danger of sinking. He later he repented of his conscience and he withdrew from the black slave trade. And he became a minister to serve the God who rescued him.
His experience is reflected in the lyrics of Amazing Grace. “A man who was treating a black man like himself was saved. He was once lost before God, but now he is found by God. He once saw nothing, but now I see, I know God. “John Newton has experienced the work of God’s amazing grace, but God’s amazing grace and love are also poured on us. Remember and thank God.
John 3:16 is said to be a passage that summarizes the entire Bible. The message of the Bible is condensed tightly. I’ve heard that 20th century evangelist Billy Graham used this passage to always do a microphone test before the rally. By doing so, he wants to share the gospel with people who cannot attend the rally, such as sound and lighting. What a wonderful idea!
Billy Graham ( November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018)
I would like to pay attention to the love of God the Father. It must be remembered that this love of God is accompanied by God’s sacrifice. God the Father experienced the loss of his child, as a parent and as a father. How painful is this?
Suppose two children are drowning when we go swimming in the sea. One is a child we don’t know and the other is our child. Which would we like to help? I’m sure it will help my child.
What happened to God the Father? Two people are dying. One is us and the other is Jesus Christ. Which one did God help? Jesus shouted on the cross. “Why did you forsake me?” (Matthew 27:46) Yes, God the Father did not help His Son, Jesus, but he helped us. If God helped Jesus, our sins would not be forgiven and we would not have life, we would not see the kingdom of God or enter heaven. He did not help Jesus so that we could be saved and have eternal life so that we would not be punished for our sins. This is nothing more than anguish. Some said that God had suffered so much that he went mad.
Jesus, the light, illuminates and reveals our hearts. At that time, we are forced to make a decision. Whether to go to the light or stay in the darkness (verse 19-21). God invites us to the light not the darkness and to the life, not the death. Let’s respond and go to the light and the life.