TO CHEW ON: “'How can this be?' Nicodemus asked." John 3:9
Jesus told Nicodemus if he wanted to see the kingdom of God, he had to be born again. Nicodemus thought Jesus meant he actually had to be born from his mother again. Of course, Jesus didn’t mean that. But what did he mean?
He meant that Nicodemus had to have a new beginning (new birth) with God. How could this happen for Nicodemus? How does it happen for you and me?
1. Nicodemus, and all of us, have sinned (sin = disobeying God - even once).
2. The punishment for sin is death = separation from God forever.
3. Jesus is the only person who lived a sinless life. He is the only person who didn't need to die for His own sins.
4. But Jesus chose to die in our stead. God accepted His death as the payment for our sin. (It’s like when you’ve done something wrong, but someone else takes your punishment and you get off free).
5. Now all we have to do is accept Jesus’ death for us to be friends with God and have eternal life.
It’s all explained in John 3:16 (a verse you might know by memory):
For God so loved the world (God loved every person who lives, has lived or will live, so much)
that he gave his one and only Son (that He gave Jesus)
that whoever believes in him (so everyone who accepts that Jesus’ death pays sin’s punishment)
shall not perish (won’t go to hell - a place where we’re separated from God forever)
but have eternal life ( but will live with God forever).
PRAYER: Dear God, I put my trust in Your Son Jesus. You have promised that if I believe in Jesus I will have eternal life. Amen.
"The Bronze Snake" - Artist unknown
SUPERSIZE IT: Crosses and Snakes
Jesus mentions the story of Moses and the snake in the desert (John 3:14,15). You can read that story in Numbers 21:4-9.
- Are there poisonous snakes where you live? ___ What kind? _____________
- What should you do if you get bitten by a poisonous snake? _____________________
- When the Israelites were bitten by snakes in this story, God made a different way for them to be healed. They just had to look at the snake statue that Moses had made, and they got better.
In the same way, we just have to look to Jesus (who was lifted up on a cross just like the snake statue in the desert was raised on a pole) to get healed from the sting of sin.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Adult readers - DAILY DEVOTIONS FOR ADULTS are available too at Other Food: daily devo's.