Friday, February 15, 2002

Lifted Up!

And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the
wilderness, so I, the Son of Man, must be lifted up on a
pole, so that everyone who believes in me will have eternal
-- John 3:14-15 (NLT)

The word for "lift up" usually means "exalt" in the rest of the New
Testament. In a way, it also means that in the Gospel of John. However,
when Jesus speaks of the Cross, the word "lifted up" refers to Jesus'
crucifixion. For Jesus to be exalted to the highest place means that he
submits to being lifted up to the worst of places, the Cross of
Golgotha. Why would he do such a thing? To follow the will of God! To
set an example for us! To draw all people to himself! To bring
redemption and eternal life to us! The Cross is both a despicable place
of cruelty and shame, and also a place of salvation and glory. We exalt
Jesus because he was lifted up on the Cross for us.

Father, thank you for your grace demonstrated in Jesus. Thank you, dear
Savior, for going to the Cross and enduring his horrors and shame so
that I could saved. I exalt you, Lord Jesus, for your grace and mercy.
I exalt you, O God, for raising Jesus from the dead. I look to the
Cross and the sacrifice made there and trust that Jesus was lifted up
for me. Thank you! In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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February 15, 2002

This is love: not that we loved God but that he loved us and
sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
-- 1 John 4:10

He loved us first! He offered his Son to save us regardless of
our decision to believe or ignore his grace. We are given the
ability to accept or reject the death of his Son as the sacrifice
for our sins. The only condition, as 1 John 2:1-2 emphasizes, is
that we realize that he died for everyone else in the world, too!

Precious King, God Almighty, why you should love me and send
Jesus to die for me I will never fully understand. Thank you for
your love. Thank you for your sacrifice for my sins. Thank you
Jesus for coming to save me. I pray in your name and by your
intercession. Amen.