MARCH 14. LENT. WK 4. SUN. JN.3. 14-21
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
‘The Son of Man must be lifted up
as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost
but may have eternal life.
For God sent his Son into the world
not to condemn the world,
but so that through him the world might be saved.
No one who believes in him will be condemned;
but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already,
because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.
On these grounds is sentence pronounced:
that though the light has come into the world
men have shown they prefer darkness to the light
because their deeds were evil.
And indeed, everybody who does wrong
hates the light and avoids it,
for fear his actions should be exposed;
but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light,
so that it may be plainly seen that what he does is done in God.’
There is significant food for thought here given that, prior to Christ becoming man everybody was rightfully “condemned” to eternal punishment because of sin; - with no hope of attaining God’s original plan; - of our living in union with him for eternity.
Even though we were sinners, and enemies of God, He did not abandon us, but continued to love us; - to the extent that he gave us his only Son to atone for our sins; - via his Passion and Death on Calvary.
‘The Son of Man must be lifted up (on a Cross) as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert’
There are truths here that defy logic, namely that God would send his only Son to die on a Cross in order to save; - not his friends; - but rather his enemies; - and the reason he did this was so these same enemies could enter into an intimate relationship with Him for Eternity.
And this reading reveals the mind of God and informs us as to why he did this, namely; - “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so everyone who believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.”
So, what we are faced with here is an act of Divine Love and Mercy towards sinners; - a gift we clearly do not deserve, and which carries the gravest of duties and responsibilities.
Christ now points this out to us; - “Whoever refuses to believe is condemned already as he has refused to believe in God’s only Son. On these grounds is sentence pronounced: that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil”. Christ is telling us here how critical it is that we believe him!