#DailyDevotion My Favorite Bible Verse
Read John 3:1–21
Joh 3:14-19 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. (16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (19) And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
We often are known for going straight to verse16 here and we forget what was before and what follows. I actually think those are probably the more important verses. Take for example verses 14 and 15. They actually give us the motor and fuel of verse 16. Jesus must be lifted up. What does this mean? It means he will be crucified and all that goes along with a crucifixion, beatings, ridicule, whipping, exposure, hunger and thirst. For Jesus is also means being made sin and rejection by the Father, being separated from His life and love. You see that is how the Father loved the world. We have the promise if we look to Jesus and trust what God says about Jesus and his liftedupness on the cross we have eternal life. Verse 16 is important because it tells us for whom did the Father crucify Jesus. He crucified him for the World. No one is excluded. This means Jesus was crucified for you. You may think it is horrible that a loving Father would do that do his son, but the option of not doing it would be hatred for you.
Verse 17 is my favorite actually. It is the most objective gospel. God doesn’t send Jesus into the world to condemn the world. In other words Jesus’ first advent was to pronounce not condemnation for you but innocence, righteousness, holiness and not guilty. The world is saved through Jesus’ first coming into the world. It is here that he performs the sacrifice of reconciling God to the world.
It is verses 18 and 19 though that will raise the hairs on the back of the necks of those people who refuse the gift of God in Christ Jesus. If you refuse the gift of salvation in Christ Jesus, i.e. you refuse to believe or put your trust in his saving work for you, you remain in condemnation. You were already born in unbelief and condemned for your unbelief. Once you hear the message of forgiveness and reconciliation on account of Jesus and you refuse it, you remain in your condemned state. And why is that? Because those who reject what Jesus and the Father love darkness more than light. They do not want their evil, which is unbelief to be exposed. They want to appear loving and basically good people. But the gospel of Jesus Christ reveals what is on their hearts. The good news is not everyone who is an unbeliever now will remain so. The Spirit through the forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name will win some over. Will you continue to refuse the gift of God in Christ Jesus?
Lord Jesus Christ, give us your Holy Spirit that we might believe the good news of your crucifixion for our salvation and be given eternal life. May we be your mouthpieces to speak this good news so many may believe and enter into eternal life. Amen.