Nick @ Night
John 3:16 is a very familiar verse to most of us, and even for those who don't generally read the Bible. It contains a beautifully simple view of the Gospel. Believe in Jesus and you will have eternal life. But have you ever heard of Nicodemus? He was the one these famous words were first spoken to.
Nick came to Jesus one night to seek truth and understanding regarding the Kingdom of God. After acknowledging that Jesus must be from God because His signs and miracles; Jesus gets right to it by telling him, “you must be born again to see the Kingdom of God”.
Nick tries to make sense of this statement with a question regarding physical birth, and Jesus comes back with “you must be born of water and the Spirit to enter the Kingdom of God for that which is flesh is flesh and that which is Spirit is Spirit”.
Jesus goes on to remind Nick of an event recorded in Numbers 21. In this account, these fiery serpents came into the campsent by God as judgment for their sin. If you got bit by one if these things it was sure death. The people came to Moses repenting and asking him to pray for them. He pleaded with God for the people and God told him to make a Golden Serpent and hang it on a pole in the middle of the camp. If anyone was bit, they where told to look at the serpent and believe that God would heal them and He did. Some would look and others would not. Those that did were healed, those that did not perished.
Jesus says to Nick regarding this event; in John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
The crazy thing about this story from John is who this was said to. You see, Nick was a Pharisee. This may not mean much to you today, but during Jesus’ time it meant a lot. These guys belonged to an exclusive group of extreme law keepers. When it came to doing the law they where like ninjas and Nicodemus was one of their leaders. Jesus said to Nick, All your law keeping and good doing is not enough. You have to be born again. This is the only way. I am the only way. You must put your faith in me Nick, and I will save you from your sin, giving you eternal life.
You might be asking yourself “where does this whole thing talk about sin’? Well remember John 3:16? It has this word we like to pass over with out giving much thought. It’s the word perish. Jesus said to Nick - You won’t Perish if you believe which by default is telling him you will perish if you chose not to believe (just like the those bitten by the serpent. Perish from what? From Sin. You see you have to keep going in for John 3:17-21 where it says: 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
Jesus said this to Nicodemus who is in a sense the best humanity has to offer. How do you stack up? Are you a law keeping Ninja? Even if you where (and we both know you are not) Jesus would say YOU must be born again. You must believe in me or you will perish in judgment of your sin.
The Glorious truth of the Gospel is that you don’t have to be a law keeping Ninja (which is good because we can’t). You don’t have to be perfect. You just have to repent of your sin (agree with God it is sin and turn from it to Him) and believe that Jesus paid for it all by dying on the cross and conquered death for you by rising from the grave
Put your trust in Jesus today. Repent and turn to Him in faith. Believe God raised Him from the dead. Jesus loves you. He gave it all to prove it.