10Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things?11I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.12But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?13No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven.14And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
You may not be familiar with the story about the snake on the pole so I’ll summarize it here. The Israelites were in the desert and had sinned (again). They were inflicted with a plague. God told Moses to create a bronze snake and fasten it to a pole in the Israelite camp. When someone was ill, if they looked to the snake on the pole, they would recover. Jesus correctly saw his own death and mission in this story. The snake is sin (Genesis). Jesus becomes our sin and dies on the cross for us. We are all ill from our sins. If we look to Jesus’ death on the cross we are saved.
This is just another example of a story that makes the Bible so special. The story of Moses in the desert was written over 1,000 years before Jesus was born, yet it perfectly portrays Jesus’ mission and our salvation. The true author of the Bible is eternal and both knows and controls the future. We can trust this book. It is just too amazing to not have been inspired by God. No other book is anything like it. Thank-you Lord for your Word!
Now what about Nicodemus? Jesus scolds him for not understaning or believing. I think Jesus challenges Nicodemus to believe what he already knows and sees. Jesus challenges us too. Look around and the changes Jesus has made in the lives around you. Look into the sky and admit it didn’t all just come from nothing for no reason. God’s presence and power are obvious. Our sinfulness is abundantly demonstrated every day. It isn’t so much a matter of not knowing the Good News, as it is a matter of not admitting it.
Lord, help me be candid with myself and others. Help me to see and understand things as they really are. Help me to trust you enough to be completely honest with myself. Change me Lord, change me. *obbs*