Monday, July 29, 2013
The Serpent Scroll (from Chapter 14)
“You are one of the teachers of God’s Word,” the first voice said, “and you don’t understand this simple idea? Unless a person is born again—by water and Spirit—they can’t go to Heaven!”
James looked with big eyes at Paul and Hannah. He grabbed them both by the sleeves and tugged. “I know this story,” he hissed. “That is Jesus talking to Nicodemus!”
“Why are they talking in whispers? And at night?” Hannah asked. “I thought Jesus always had his disciples around him.”
“Nicodemus didn’t want people to know he was talking to Jesus because he could loose his job!” James said. “So, he asked Jesus to meet him at night in a secret place.”
“That’s right,” Paul said, remembering. “Jesus is talking about baptism. Let’s keep listening.”
The three peered around the corner and saw the two men with a candle between them. “There is only one way to Heaven,” Jesus said. “You have to see the Son of Man lifted up.”
“Lifted up? You mean praised?” Nicodemus asked. “Like a king is ‘lifted up, high and mighty’?”
“Not like that at all,” Jesus replied. “Moses lifted up a bronze snake on a pole to save the people in the desert from death. That kind of ‘lifted up’.”
“I don’t understand,” Nicodemus shook his head. “These are hard teachings.”
“The Son of Man must be lifted up,” Jesus said, “so that all people who see His sacrifice can be saved. God loves the world a lot. So much, in fact, that He sent His only son to be lifted up. Everyone who believes in His Son will not end their lives in death, but in eternal life!”
“Why is this ‘Son’ so important?” Nicodemus asked.
“He is God’s one and only Son,” Jesus said. “And He brings light to the world. Darkness ends in death, light in life. It’s that simple!”
“That simple, huh?” Nicodemus shook his head. “I will think on these things.”
Jesus clasped Nicodemus’ shoulders with His hands, “I know you will, my friend. Thank you for setting aside this time for me.”
“You’re welcome, Rabbi. Goodbye for now.”
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