Relationship Where It All Changes
From Death to Life
From Death to Life
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus recognizes that there was something about Jesus that he needed to sit and learn more about, but he comes under the shroud of night.
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;
As Jesus always does, he cuts to the heart of Nicodemus concerns and addresses the obstacle that stands in the way of the individual and the truth.
Every Jew believed that they were to inherit the kingdom of God for the simple fact that they were a Jew. Their future was secure in their heritage. Jesus cuts to the heart of this as he point Nicodemus to the only heritage that actually saves, to be born of God.
Our flesh is limited it what is can produce, it can only result in death. Our lives are not lived with two possible outcomes dependent upon how we live. Our lives have only one possible result, death. The only way to have the possibility of life is to be re-birthed in Christ. In Him, we are transformed, made into a new creation, we are birthed into the family of God.
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 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. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
Nicodemus is mystified by Jesus’ response. Jesus once again cuts to the heart of the issue. The teachers of the law had missed the intent of the law. The law was given to man to point us to our need for the Father. Man built an entire faith absent of God. God was not at the center of the faith, man was.
Jesus points Nicodemus to what God had always desired for and from man, a relationship with Him. Since the beginning, God has pursued man with desire for an authentic relationship. From walking in the garden with Adam, to meeting face to face with Moses in the Tent of Meeting, to now walking with man as the incarnate.
Salvation came from shifting our eyes to the Lord and the same is true for salvation today. As our eyes shift to Jesus, we find true salvation, a restored relationship with God.
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 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. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 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.
This is the heart of the gospel and everything that Jesus has done and will do. Jesus came and put on display what God’s love looks like.
God loves us and pursues us out of that love. He can not to condemn us but to save us. The life that he offers is not a life of fear and condemnation, but rather a life of joy and freedom.
It is difficult to walk in freedom. We would rather walk in condemnation for in condemnation, we live like we deserve what we get. This is not what God created us for.
We have been given the opportunity to walk in the light. We can not walk in the light if we are trying to hide things in the dark. Christ died to obliterate the darkness, to remove its hold on God’s children and to set them free. We are free.