Preparation for the Returning Home
Lord Jesus, I join with all Your people today in hailing You as the Ascended Lord and King over all.
Read JOHN 3:1-15
 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”  In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.  “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?  No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven-the Son of Man.  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. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat puzzling statement did Jesus make here?
The one who came from heaven and has gone into heaven, the Son of Man (13)– this is how Jesus describes himself in his conversation with Nicodemus. Soon after, he would be crucified, die, rise again and ascend to take his rightful place in heaven with the Father .
But before his ascension, Jesus had to finish the work of making it possible for sinful humans to “see” (understand and enter) the Kingdom of God. Jesus tells Nicodemus that eternal life in that kingdom is accessed only by a “second birth,” a spiritual regeneration (3). The idea of a new or second birth leaves Nicodemus incredulous (4) as it still does some today.
But Jesus knows of what he speaks. He is the one who came from heaven. That is his home. For that reason, he speaks with full authority about heavenly things (11). He knew that he would soon be “lifted up” on the cross (14) in order to win eternal life for all believers. Then, with his earthly work finished, he ascended from where he had descended, home to the Father where he reigns in glory—until he comes again (Acts. 1:9-11).
Have you experienced the “second birth”? If so, praise Jesus, ascended into heaven and your advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).
Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus, may I always look to You alone as my Savior and advocate with the Father.
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