3:13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
3:15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
3:17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
This is probably one of the most well known passages in scripture. These verses point to how the redemptive plan to save humanity all started with God and His love for us. I love the parallel that is depicted between those who were saved from poisonous snakes by looking up at the one serpent that can save them to us looking up at Jesus, the only one who can save us from eternal punishment.
Jesus came to this world in order so that we can be saved from being eternally separated from Him. He longs for us to spend our lives in His presence and being spared from the punishment that is reserved for those who reject the message of the Gospel. The whole point of the Gospel is that it was fueled by God’s everlasting love for us.
The message is clear: those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved from eternal death, forgiven of their sin and will spend eternity in heaven in God’s loving presence. The cross is there to serve as a loving reminder that Jesus did not come to this world as verse 17 says to “condemn it”. He came to save us and bring us back into a loving and intimate relationship with Him.
This is also a message of hope that we can live under God’s Grace and whenever we stumble into sin, we can come to Him with a heart that is seeking forgiveness. Furthermore, we can rest assured that when we are sincere in our confession, that He will forgive us.
This is a message of love, hope and security only found in Christ.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up
Jesus knew that He had to be crucified and raised in order to save those who would believe. Like the serpent that was raised up in the desert on Moses’ staff, He is being raised up for a sinful people. The Israelites had recently cursed the Lord for bringing them out in to the desert.
God sent His son to be a sacrifice for a sinful and fallen humanity. Jesus did not come for the righteous. He came to save the same those who were far from God. Paul said in Ephesians that
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Let us always be grateful that God chose to save us even though we had done nothing to deserve it. Never forget that God loves and desires to be in relationship with you even if you are imperfect. He loves you no matter what you have done or ever will do.
[Featured image from lhach.deviantart.com]