Reading: John 3:14-21
Scripture: “And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. “ (John 3:14-15)
Reflection: Jesus is the giver of life! In the conversation between himself and Jesus Christ, Nicodemus, asked Christ “How can one be born again?” Today’s scripture reading takes us into the conversation at the point where Jesus responded, reminding Nicodemus of the situation where the Israelites were punished by God with a plague of snakes for their rebellious attitude. However, just as Moses lifted up the bronze snake and they were healed by believing in God’s power, so too He was to be lifted up and all would be healed.
That snake bite, though a physical one in Israel’s experience, is a very spiritual one for us as we suffer from the stinging bite of sin, which ultimately leads to death. For we all are guilty of sin, even the ones which we think are not hurting anyone. We might maliciously spread lies that someone is sick with COVID-19, or, because of how they treated us before the outbreak, decide not to be kind to an elderly neighbour who can’t go to the supermarket due to national protocols. Recovering victims of the disease have reported how dehumanizing it felt when friends and even members of their own family scorned them and treated them like lepers. “It hurts” they all say. As Romans 3:23 squarely states, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;” How can we, especially in these times, extend Christian love and charity to all our fellowmen, regardless of their circumstances?
God has provided a way for us to be healed from this deadly sting of sin. He, out of His mercy, grace and unfailing love, has provided His Son who accepted our punishment, paid the price on the cross and offered us new life that He bought with His blood. We are called in this Lenten season to look up on Jesus and receive life, for He is the giver of life!
Meditation: “Burdened one, why will you longer bear sorrows from which He releases?
Open your heart, and rejoicing share, Life “more abundant” in Jesus.
Life! life! eternal life! Jesus alone is the Giver!
Life! life! abundant life! Glory to Jesus forever!”
(Abundant Life by William Leslie)
Prayer: O Lord, You call us as Your people to receive Your gift of abundant life in Your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. May we readily accept this gift and seek to grow in faith and awareness of You. Amen.
The St. Jude’s Writers
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
18 March 2021