What Jesus Did! 'Lifted Up!' — John 3:14-15

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever."
— John 3:14-15
Illustration of John 3:14-15 — "Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever."

Key Thought

The word for "lift up" usually means "exalt" in the rest of the New Testament. In a way, it also means that in the Gospel of John. However, when Jesus speaks of the Cross, the word "lifted up" refers to Jesus' crucifixion. For Jesus to be exalted to the highest place means that he submitted himself to being lifted up to the worst of places, the Cross of Golgotha. Why would he do such a thing? To follow the will of God! To set an example for us! To draw all people to himself! To bring redemption and eternal life to us! The Cross is both a despicable place of cruelty and shame, and also a place of salvation and glory. We exalt Jesus because he was lifted up on the Cross for us.

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for your grace demonstrated in Jesus. Thank you, dear Savior, for going to the Cross and enduring its horrors and shame so that I could be saved. I exalt you, Lord Jesus, for your grace and mercy. I exalt you, O God, for raising Jesus from the dead. I look to the Cross and the sacrifice made there and trust that Jesus was lifted up for me. Thank you! In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

There was a man named Nicodemus. Nicodemus was one of the Pharisees. He was an important Jewish leader. One night Nicodemus came to Jesus. Nicodemus said, "Teacher, we know that you are a teacher sent from God. No person can do these miracles that you do without God's help." Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born again. If a person is not born again, then that person cannot be in God's kingdom." Nicodemus said, "But if a person is already old, how can he be born again? A person cannot enter his mother's body again! So a person cannot be born a second time!" But Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth. A person must be born from water and the Spirit. If a person is not born from water and the Spirit, then he cannot enter God's kingdom. A person's body is born from his human parents. But a person's spiritual life is born from the Spirit. Don't be surprised that I told you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wants to go. You hear the wind blow. But you don't know where the wind comes from or where the wind is going. It is the same with every person that is born from the Spirit." Nicodemus asked, "How can all this be possible?" Jesus said, "You are an important teacher of Israel (the Jews). But you still don't understand these things? I tell you the truth. We talk about what we know. We tell about what we have seen. But you people don't accept what we tell you. I have told you about things here on earth. But you do not believe me. So surely you will not believe me if I tell you about the things of heaven! The only one that has ever gone up to heaven is the One that came down from heaven—the Son of Man. Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. It is the same with the Son of Man. The Son of Man must be lifted up too. Then every person that believes in the Son of Man can have life forever. Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever. God sent his Son into the world. God did not send his Son to judge the world guilty. God sent his Son so that the world could be saved through his Son. The person that believes in God's Son is not judged (condemned). But the person that does not believe is already judged. Why? Because that person has not believed in God's only Son. People are judged by this fact: The Light (goodness) has come into the world. But people did not want light. They wanted darkness (sin). Why? Because they were doing evil things. Every person that does evil hates the light. That person will not come to the light. Why? Because then the light will show all the bad things he has done. But the person that follows the true way comes to the light. Then the light will show that the things that person has done were done through God."

John 3:1-21

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus said to them, "Now is the time for the Son of Man to receive his glory. I tell you the truth. A grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die. Then it grows and makes many seeds. But if it never dies, then it will always be only a single seed. The person that loves his own life will lose it. But the person that hates his life in this world will keep it. He will have life forever. The person that serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will give honor to people that serve me. "Now I am very troubled. What should I say? Should I say, 'Father save me from this time {of suffering}'? No, I came to this time so that I could suffer. Father, do what will bring you glory!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have already brought glory to myself. I will do it again." The people standing there heard the voice. Those people said it was thunder. But other people said, "An angel spoke to Jesus!" Jesus said to the people, "That voice was for you and not for me. Now is the time for the world to be judged. Now the ruler of this world (the devil) will be thrown out. I will be lifted up from the earth. And when this happens, I will bring all people to me." Jesus said this to show how he would die.

John 12:23-33

So Jesus said to them, "You will lift up (kill) the Son of Man. Then you will know that I AM. You will know that these things I do are not by my own authority (power). You will know that I say only the things that the Father has taught me.

John 8:28

So Jesus is the One God raised from death, {not David}! We are all witnesses of this. We saw him! Jesus was lifted up to heaven. Now Jesus is with God, at God's right side. The Father (God) has now given the Holy Spirit to Jesus. The Holy Spirit is what God promised to give. So now Jesus is pouring out (giving) that Spirit. This is what you see and hear. David was not the one who was lifted up to heaven. {It was Jesus who was lifted up to heaven.} David himself said: 'The Lord (God) said to my Lord: Sit at my right side, until I put your enemies under your power. ' "So, all the Jewish people should know this truly: God has made Jesus to be Lord and Christ. He is the man you nailed to the cross!"

Acts 2:32-36


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.