A reading from the gospel according to John 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
13 “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
Reflection: Lifted Up
Good News: Jesus came to save the world, not to condemn it.
If there is a summary of the whole scripture, it must be this gospel passage especially John 3:16. No wonder this verse seems to be the most popular among believers. In fact, this verse can still be shortened into just “God’s Love”. Thus we can say that the bible is a novel or a story of God’s love.
No one can indeed fathom the love of God. Man has turned away from Him yet He continued to chase him with love. Still, man continued in his rebellious ways. So He sent His only Son to suffer and die on the cross, the ultimate expression of His love. On that cross, sin and suffering was on full display. Yet on that same cross, salvation has come into the world.
We are invited not just to gaze upon the cross but to experience God’s love and believe in His Son. It is the only way to be saved. On that wood, there is salvation. On that wood, the power of sin and death has been vanquished forever. That is why, no matter what suffering the world is in today, no matter what situation we are in, no matter what pain or malice or injustice we are experiencing, God’s love will prevail.
Because of the cross of Christ, there is hope for mankind. There is hope for the world. There is hope for you and me. It is all because God’s love is so immense. He gave His only Son to suffer and die so that everyone will be LIFTED UP to heaven and be reunited with the Father. We just have to believe.
Like Saint Paul, may we never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Galatians 6:14)