I am convinced of this one thing, that when we see Jesus, we obtain life and life abundantly. I hope to persuade you today about the goodness of our Lord. We as christians are called not to look like the world but to look like Jesus. I believe we get so caught up thinking like the world instead of renewing our minds to the ways of Christ (Rom 12). We enter into worry and strife not realizing that Jesus has prepared a sabbath rest for us to enter into every day. We worry about our bills, our futures, our destinies, and miss the very gift of the present moment. The problem? We fail to see and believe that Christ really is as good as He says He is. We turn from Him so easily and begin to rely upon our efforts, our strength, and our own abilities. The answer? I believe the more we see and encounter Jesus in His nature, His likeness, His goodness, we will be transformed from glory to glory. We will begin to live out of such a place of abundance, mind, body, and spirit that the world becomes jealous and actually wants what we have. Gone will be the days where we have to twist people arms to believe in Jesus. When we truly step into our identity as manifested sons and daughters the world will begin to desire what we have, Jesus.
So I am going to go ahead and reveal some Jesus goodness to you right now. As I do, you are going to catch a deeper revelation of what He accomplished on our behalf and your faith is going to skyrocket.
We all know the scripture John 3:16 right? For God so loved the world… This is one of my favorite passages. It puts the gospel in such simple terms. But to fully understand this passage we must dive into its context. It is key that we let the bible interpret bible. We can easily take what we want to hear from the word and make it say whatever we want it to say. This is dangerous and scary, this is how cults are formed. In order to properly interpret the scripture we must look at surrounding books, paragraphs, verses, along with historical context.
Lets look at the verses right before John 3:16. In chapter 3 a Jewish ruler, Nicodemus, comes to Jesus at night, probably because he is ashamed of being seen with Jesus. He comes to question Jesus about His identity and spiritual matters such as new birth. Jesus begins to lay out the mysteries of The Kingdom and dumfounds Nicodemus. I mean think about it, the traditional thought of the day was that the Messiah would come and exalt Israel above all other nations. They thought The Kingdom would come by physical force. So even though it is easy for us to believe that Jesus is the Messiah in todays day and age, take into thought that we have had 2000 years of this belief system engrained into who we are. At the time this was completely preposterous to the Jew to believe that Jesus was God. It certainly stupefies countless people today as well. So Jesus basically drops the bomb on Nicodemus in verse 14-15 by saying, "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."
Jesus is referring to the Israelites in Numbers 21. This is was when they were in the wilderness with Moses. They were being fed fresh manna from heaven daily. But in their bitterness, they began to detest their sustenance and began cursing Moses. As a result God sent snakes among them and many were bitten and died. So, as I think most of us would do, they repented of their stupidity and asked Moses to pray that The Lord take them away. So God told Moses to make a snake and put it up on a pole and that everyone who looked at this pole would live. It says in Numbers 21:9 "So Moses made a snake out of bronze and attached it to a pole. Then anyone who was bitten by a snake could look at the bronze snake and be healed!"
Can you see the correlation? What a magnificent type and shadow of the gospel. For in the garden, Adam sinned. He distrusted God, and in his shame the curse of sin came upon the human race.
See, our fallen condition was a horrible one and still is for those who do not believe. It is an existence that has no real hope or purpose. It is a cursed life. Under this old nature, we have to toil for our provision, we are bound by sin, we estrange God as far off and distant, we constantly worry and fret, we have no rest, and no peace. But praise Jesus Christ, He became our curse so that we could become His righteousness (INSERT SCRIPTURE) He entered into our diseased state and defeated it from the inside out forever giving us a new nature, Christ. For we no longer live, but Christ lives in and through us (Gal 2:20).
As the snake was lifted up in the dessert, so was Jesus lifted up for all the world to be saved, healed, and delivered. It doesn't say that all those who deserve it, or all those who are good enough… NO! There are no qualifications you need to meet. Simply look upon Jesus Christ as your Lord, your healer, your salvation, your prosperity, your provision, and you will receive. He says to us, "I am the bread of life," come to me, eat and drink of my love and you shall be made whole, my shalom will abound toward you, my favor will be with you, its not about what you can do, but about what I have done for you, simply receive me.
This is what God did for the Israelites, they simply looked upon the pole and they were HEALED. So often, we disqualify ourselves based on the things we have been through, our circumstances, our situations, instead of realizing what Jesus went through for our sake. It's because the amazing love of our Father that He came and died for us. He came to give us eternal life, and this isn't just a ticket to heaven, it is a living relationship with The Lord Himself. For just as Jesus said in John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." To know Him is the greatest pleasure there is in this world. To know His overwhelming and intoxicating presence is superior to any earthly pleasure.
When we refuse to believe and rest in Jesus, condemnation remains upon us. When we begin to live under the law, condemnation remains (Gal 3:1). When we think we can do this life on our own, condemnation remains. When we try to become our own savior by self hatred, self reliance, self pity, self self self, condemnation remains. For Jesus Himself tells us, "whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:18)
So today, refuse to rely upon your own strength, humble yourselves, surrender to the Lord, cast your cares upon Him, let Him love you, let Him infuse you with His strength, let Him overwhelm you with His love and Joy, don't hold on to the past, don't hold on to the bitterness, let it go, let HIM invade your every circumstance for He is faithful!
I would love to hear your testimonies about how Jesus Christ has changed your life. It may be something small or something epic, either way, share below. Also, if you have questions, you can post them below as well. Just be social and leave a comment! :)