The Cross and Eternal Life

John 3:12–15 (NIV 2011)

12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.’

I. Earthly Things, Heavenly Things (12)

In John 3:3-8, Jesus has spoken to Nicodemus of earthly things (12a) that have been happening on earth and he could read them in the Old Testament. Regarding ‘Born of water’ (baptism), the Flood (Genesis 6:9-22, Genesis 7:1-24, Genesis 8:1-22) symbolises baptism, that is, the pledge of a clear conscience towards God (1 Peter 3:20-21) [2]. The Works of the Holy Spirit are seen in the Old Testament. See 1 Samuel 10:6 as an example.

The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.

The above sign for Saul, the 1st king of Israel, was fulfilled in 1 Samuel 10:10-11.

See 1 Samuel 16:13 for another example.

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.

Later, David became the 2nd king of Israel (2 Samuel 5:3). There are numerous examples in the Old Testament that show the changes done by the Holy Spirit.

But Nicodemus did not believe in the spiritual rebirth by water and the Spirit (John 3:9). If then, it would be even more difficult for him to believe if Jesus might speak of heavenly things (12b).

 II. The Heavenly Man, Jesus, His Cross, and Eternal Life (13-15)

Who can tell him about heavenly things? See v13.

No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

The first man, Adam was the earthly man. Only Jesus was the heavenly man (1 Corinthians 15:47-48, John 3:13). The heavenly bodies are imperishable, glorious, powerful and spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:42-44) and the believers will receive their heavenly bodies (1 Corinthians 15:51-54). Jesus tells Nicodemus the way to eternal life in Him (14,15).

See v14.

Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

As written in Numbers 21:4-9, because Israelites grew impatient and complained in the desert, God sent venomous snakes to bite them and many of them died. After Moses prayed for the people, God let Moses make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole so that anyone bitten by a snake might live by looking at the bronze snake. Sin brings death (Romans 6:23, James 1:15). Like sin, the venomous snake bites and kills the victim. The bronze snake had the image of the snake without the venom or the attack. It healed and saved those who looked at it. This bronze snake represents Jesus Christ, who had no sin, became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) and was lifted up on the cross so that everyone who believes (15a) may have eternal life in Him (15b).

References

[1] Lange, John Peter; Schaffer, Philip. A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: John.

[2] THE HISTORY OF BAPTISM. Lifeway. https://explorethebible.lifeway.com/blog/history-of-baptism

Copyright © 2012-2024 Come & See All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.5, from BuyNowShop.com.