His Life for My Life Published week of July 12, 2020
“. . . Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” These were Jesus’ words to Nicodemus (John 3:3), the devout Jewish Pharisee who was so intrigued by Him. Nicodemus wanted to know who Jesus was, saying, “. . Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: . . . ” He had seen the signs and miracles Jesus performed; and he wondered how a Rabbi could do such things. He knew no one could apart from God.
Jesus’ response to Nicodemus seems peculiar. Why not just tell him exactly who He is? Why the cryptic response, 'No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again?' In order to understand what Jesus said, it is important to accurately interpret the phrase “kingdom of God.” Often times when we read this phrase, we confuse it with an actual place. This is not how Jesus was using the term. When Jesus said “kingdom of God,” He meant the right or power to rule over a kingdom. In other words, He meant that no one can see His royal power as the triumphant Messiah unless he is born again.
The fact of the matter is all Nicodemus saw was the miraculous things Jesus did. He did not see Jesus’ deity. He did not see Jesus the Messiah . . . the Lamb of God . . . the Passover Lamb . . . the promised one. Why? Because he had not been born again. Jesus was telling Nicodemus he needed life, not religion. In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but [except] by me.” Again in John 6:33-35 Jesus tells His followers: “For the bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst.”
There is no life apart from Christ. Although there is religion, customs and rituals apart from Christ; there is no life apart from Jesus Christ. There is only one imparter of life and His name is Jesus. As in the case of Nicodemus, our spiritually dead eyes cannot see Him as the reigning Messiah, but only as a good teacher. To see Him in all His glory and to worship Him as He deserves, we must be born again. The life Jesus gives is abundant and full. The life He gives is a life blessed in this world, and fully consummated in the next where we will live with Him forever.
LORD God, Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ to give His life for me. I acknowledge that He is the source of all life. He is the giver of new life. You have come near to us through Him. Help me, Father, to honor Him with the life You have given me through Him. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.