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【Message】 We look at the Cross

John 3:14-15

March 14, 2021
The International Congregation, St. Agnes Church 

Now we heard, 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

 

In order that we may have eternal life, in order that we may be saved, Jesus said, must the Son of Man be lifted up.”

Let us listen to his words again to know this deeply.

 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

 Long ago the Israelites had journeyed for 40 years after the exodus out of Egypt. The people rebelled against God and against Moses in the wilderness.

 It’s written like this in the book of Numbers of the Old Testament that we heard in the first reading today (p.247).

 21:6 Then the LORD sent poisonous serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD to take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live.” 9 So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and live.

 The Israelites looked at the serpent of bronze on the pole which Moses made. Then they felt much pain in their heart, and repented of their sins. And they were forgiven and healed and lived.

The serpent of bronze was a symbol of repentance and forgiveness of sins, and a new life.

 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

 We do not look at the serpent of bronze on the pole. But we look at merciful Jesus on the cross. The Son of Man, Jesus, was lifted up on the cross. If we come to know our sins, we feel pain in our heart, and repent of our sins. By the grace of the cross of Jesus, we are forgiven and healed and blessed. We live. We can live by the love of Jesus who was lifted up on the cross.

From here our new life begins.

 The cross is a symbol of our repentance and forgiveness of sins and the grace of Jesus Christ.

 We look at the cross.

Love of Jesus flows out of the cross into our hearts.