Lent Reading John 3:14-21
John 3:14-21 describes God’s rescue mission for a world in real trouble. In love God gives his Son, Jesus, to save people from perishing and bring them into eternal life. The illustration John gives is of the time Israel, because of their rebellion, were under God’s judgement with poisonous snakes killing many of them. In his mercy, God had Moses lift a bronze snake on a pole. Anyone who looked on the snake, lived. John writes Jesus is like this for our world (v14). When he is lifted up, pointing both to the cross and his exaltation, anyone who looks to Jesus, will not die, but live.
Unlike the palpable experience of dying by snakebite, many people do not know they are perishing. John knows people can love their life apart from God (v19). People may also prefer to stay in their darkness as they have much to hide. People may also reject the life God offers as they ‘hate the light’ (v20). I wonder how many dying people in Moses’ time refused to look on the raised snake and live? Sadly, John acknowledges there are perishing people who refuse to look to Jesus to live.
May this not be you. God did not send his Son into our world to press on us further judgement. In love God gave his Son so we will ‘not perish but have eternal life.’ Jesus is lifted on a cross to rescue the world. To know the life this brings is but one meaningful choice away. Simply put, ‘believe in him’.