“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” John 3:14-15 (NIV)
Jesus’ death was the ultimate sacrifice for all who choose to accept it, but it wasn’t a sacrifice made behind closed doors, for a few to see. It was public. Jesus was ‘lifted up’ in a very recognisable way. His death, visible to all in the records of history, is the great invitation for us. Just as the bronze snake was lifted up for the Israelites in the desert (Numbers 21:9), God lifted up Jesus for us. It’s true, the cross is not a nice image, which is why it always surprises me that it’s such a popular symbol on non-Christian clothing nowadays, but it’s a powerful image. It took the cross, something that violent and extreme, to pull us humans out of the swamp of our sins. But there’s more, the cross is not just a negation of sin, it’s an invitation, the great invitation into eternal life, that’s what verse 15 says. Will you accept?