John 3:14-21 (1)


Jesus was lifted up
Reading: John 3:14-21
Additional reading: Numbers 21:4-9
Blanks: believes, believes, through, believed, truth, help

(3) About 3500 years ago, the people of Israel were traveling in the desert.
(3) But there was a terrible incident where many snakes came out and killed a lot of people in the desert.

(3) Moses prayed.
Then God told him:
“Make a bronze snake and put it up on a pole.
Then ask people to look at it.
If they obey, they will live.”

(2) So Moses obeyed.
He made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole and asked people to look at it.
All those who obeyed were healed.

(3) But some people might have said:
“Moses, this is why I don’t like about you.
You are not scientific.
Don’t you see that this is impossible?
How can I be healed by just looking at it?”

(3) But some people might have said:
“All you want is that I look at it, right?
Ok, I can do that.”
Then they saw it and were healed immediately.

Then 1500 years later, Jesus came to Jewish people again.
Then Jesus said something like this:
(1) “Do you remember that Moses lifted up the bronze snake in the desert?
Then all those who obeyed and looked at it were saved.
Now it is my turn.
I will be lifted up.
And everyone who looks and believes in me will have eternal life.”
That is faith: responding to God's word and intention.

(3) But some people might have said:
“Jesus, you make no sense.
It is impossible.
How can I have eternal life, by just looking at you lifted up?”

(3) But some people might have said:
“If you want me to look at you lifted up, I can do that.
But what does it mean?
What does it mean to look and believe?
I don’t understand.
Help me understand what it means that you are to be lifted up.”

(3) So let’s think about this:
What does it mean that Jesus was lifted up?
Was he lifted up?
When was he lifted up?

(3) Jesus was lifted up twice, right?
(3) Jesus was lifted up on the cross.
(3) Then after his resurrection, Jesus was lifted up and ascended into heaven.

(3) Because he obeyed God, he was lifted up twice.
When God works in our hearts, we may also obey God like him.

(#) Now let’s think about why Jesus was lifted?
As you know, Jesus is God.
But then he was lifted up on the cross?

(3) In this world there is a power of sin.
So everybody may make mistakes sometimes.
Everybody may say or do something wrong sometimes, right?

Why is that?
This happens even when they want to do something good and right.
Sometimes, they wanted to do something good but they couldn’t.
They found themselves doing things that they didn’t want to do.
There were some disunity in them.

So they could not become what they wanted to be.
They could not become what God wanted them to be.
Because of this, they lost.
They didn’t really know who they were.
So they didn’t know how to serve God and how to live their lives.
So they were not happy.
But then some of them totally gave up and lived badly and wickedly.
So other people were in danger.
And this was a problem.

(4) So God sent Jesus.
Jesus came to help them see a new possibility in their life.
Jesus helped them to know God’s good plan for them.
Jesus helped them to know who they are in God.
Jesus helped them to know how much God loves them.
So then they were encouraged to start a new life.

(3) The students of Jesus realized this by looking at the life of Jesus.
But in the beginning, they could not understand why Jesus had to die.
They could not understand why Jesus had to ascend into heaven.
But looking at the life of Jesus, they saw what a true obedience to God looked like.

Jesus also explains a little by little as much as they can understand, why Jesus had to die for people.
Then little by little they understood why Jesus was lifted up.
Then they knew the truth.

People thought that the death is the end of a life.
But Jesus said:
“No, it is only a new beginning.”

So Jesus lived for the truth, died for the truth and live again for the truth.
Jesus wanted to show his disciples how to live for the truth, die for the truth and live again for the truth.

When we see Jesus lifted up, we may realize this.
Then we may truly believe in Jesus.
We may feel very close to God.
Then we may hear from God.
We may understand how to live their life.
Then we may want to obey the teachings of Jesus and live forever.

(3) That is why we want to preach Jesus lifted up.
If people understand enough, they may also live for the truth.
They may understand the meaning of life.
They may think and make right choices for our life.
They may understand how God thinks.
Then they may be able to live in the way Jesus lived.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for what you have done.
You have done many things even though we may not understand right way.
Help us to understand so that we may truly obey you.

Give us power to love you as much as you love us.
Give us power to love one another as you love us.
In Jesus name, we pray.