Tuesday, Mar. 14
Following the analogies of wind and new birth, Jesus turned to a third, a “type.” When the Israelites complained about their food, God sent serpents to get their attention. After the snakes did God’s bidding, the Jews that were still alive pleaded with Moses to do something. God had Moses make a bronze sculpture of a snake and put it up on a pole. The only thing the people needed to do to stop the killing was to look up at the bronze snake. No “works” involved, just turn and look. Jesus’ point was that God provided the solution to the sin problem. No “works” on man’s part, just belief. Jesus identifies with this O.T. account by saying that he would be lifted up and that those who believed in him would be saved. But since Jesus had not yet died on the cross, this could have been a problem for Nicodemus. It must have been a hard thing to grasp for a person who from childhood believed that his only hope was obeying the Law. John’s account of this dialogue ends at this point. This night time encounter does not conclude with Nicodemus coming to saving faith, but I think it’s safe to conclude that he got the message. Subsequent evidence as recorded by John would indicate that he did and that he responded positively to it. This secret dialogue with Jesus by night had to be the turning point in his life.