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Heavenly Credentials

John 3:13-15
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.’ (NIVUK)

Jesus, calling Himself the Son of Man, is the only person who knows all about heaven, because He came from heaven!  He is the only ‘ladder or staircase’ between heaven and earth (John 1:51) – like the steps Jacob saw in his dream some 2,000 years previously (Genesis 28:12).  Jesus is unique, being the only man who fully understands both environments, because He is also God.

In talking with the Jewish theologian, Nicodemus, Jesus reminded him about the time 1,500 years previously when God’s people grumbled against Moses and God (Numbers 21:4-9).  They moaned that the wilderness journey was taking so long and they did not like the food God provided for them.  They were wrongly complaining that He did not love them and only wanted them to die.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  The real problem was that they did not trust God.

As a punishment, God allowed venomous snakes to bite the people, and many were dying.  Eventually, the people realised that they had sinned and they repented, pleading with Moses to pray to God for healing.  God instructed Moses to make a brass snake and put it on a tall pole, and to tell the people who were dying that if they looked at the brass snake, they would live.  Jesus used that well known account as a parable of Himself.  He was saying that He would have to be ‘lifted up’ (referring to His crucifixion) and that whoever looked to Him (believed in Him), as God’s way to be saved, would not die but live.

Today, many cannot see how the death of Jesus could achieve anything.  It would not be their way of conquering the world or getting to heaven.  But it was God’s way: and believing in Jesus remains the only way to be in the right with God and enter heaven (John 14:6).  Many people say that they cannot believe it.  But that is not true; they would be able to believe if they submit themselves to God, but they do not want to.  That is why God has given us the Gospel (Good News) so that we can let people know how to be saved.  They need to consider it and choose to repent and receive God’s love.  So why not show your friends www.crosscheck.org.uk and discuss it with them?

Eternal God. Thank You for telling us how to be saved through Jesus. Forgive me for being so slow in introducing my colleagues, friends and family to Him. Although many are suspicious or even reject Him without any understanding, help me to share the Good News story with them. I pray that they will be receptive to let You speak to them by Your Holy Spirit, helping them to want to put their trust in Jesus. And help me to encourage them to repent and receive Jesus Christ as Lord. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams