John 3:16 reminds us that Jesus came to us. Jesus called us, encouraged us, and told us to walk his way. More than any of that, Jesus al- lowed himself to be lifted up on the cross, as if to say, “This is how much God loves you. This is what God does for you.” The Gospel of John will use that same expression, “lifted
up,” in chapters 8 and 12. As Jesus is lifted up, he lifts us up as well. Just as the ancient Hebrew people were saved by gazing on a bronze serpent held high by Moses, so we, too, are saved by Jesus being held high on a cross (see Numbers 21, as referenced in John 3:14, which sets up the dramatic John 3:16).
I expect that you know John 3:16 well. You know what it’s like to look up and see the crucified Christ with his arms outstretched toward you and embracing you. You know the searing image of Jesus hanging on that cross, and how it has its way with us. It pen- etrates deep into our souls, and thereby draws us to Christ. Not that we should perish but have eternal life. You know that story. You know it very well. Peace,