Meeting Jesus – Heart to Heart, by Ty Tamasaka
“9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 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.[t] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[u] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[v]
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:9-21 NIV
We discovered in the last devotion there are some things we may not understand in life, but happens nonetheless. There are many mysteries in life that are still real. While Nicodemus doesn’t understand it, Jesus assures him that new birth is NOT a fantasy, but a reality. Though it may be hard to understand, it is still true.
For new birth, there are two things that needed to happen.
1 – Jesus Christ had to die. V. 14-17
In these verses, Jesus points Nicodemus to Numbers 21 of the Old Testament. In this account the serpents were biting the Jews and killing off the people. Moses was given a strange solution to the problem. God had him made a bronze serpent of brass and when God’s people looked to the brass serpent in faith, they were healed. It is helpful to think about what God DID NOT command Moses to do in this crisis. In Numbers 21, God DID NOT command Moses to kill the snakes, protect the Israelites from being bitten, or to treat their wounds. Instead, the solution was to lift up the bronze serpent and to get men to look to it by faith.
This story is a shadow of the coming of Jesus. The brass the serpent symbolized judgment. When He went to the cross, Jesus took our judgment. He gave His life so that men could be born… again.
Looking back, we know Jesus Christ was made as sin for us and when we look to Him, we are saved. Jesus needed to give His life on the cross and take our penalty before we could receive salvation. First Jesus had to die, and second…
2 – Sinners had to believe. V. 18-21
The message of Jesus is that faith is the ONLY means of salvation. Sinners needed to believe. To harden one’s heart and refuse to look to the bronze serpent meant condemnation. To have faith and turn to the bronze serpent meant salvation.
Turning to the Son of Man means salvation. Placing our faith Jesus Christ means salvation. While this is a mystery and we will still have questions, we need to turn to Jesus in faith. You may have doubts. You may have wounds and hurts from life. Will you let Jesus speak to your heart? Will you turn your heart to Jesus? Salvation is found in Him and Him alone. Don’t harden your heart. Don’t close yourself off to Jesus.
Jesus gave His life. Jesus was raised up on the cross. God so loved the world… He so loved you… and me… that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ so that if we believe in Him, we will not perish, but have eternal life. Jesus had to give His life… now we have to believe.
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, Lord Jesus Christ, thank You that You came, to give Your life in my place. I’ve tried doing it myself for too long. I turn from my sin today. I invite You to be in charge. Take control of my life. I turn to You. I surrender to You. I look to You. Invade my heart. Invade my life. Make me knew, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.