::R1696 : page 272::
JESUS AND NICODEMUS
III. QUAR., LESSON XI., SEPT. 9, JOHN 3:1-16
Golden Text—”God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16
For a consideration of this interview between the Lord and Nicodemus, see M. DAWN, VOL. I., Chap. xiv. In connection with Verse 13 see Acts 2:34 and 2 Tim. 4:8.
VERSES 14-15. The reference here is to the circumstance recorded in Num. 21:4-9, when the bite of a fiery serpent was cured by a look at the brazen serpent which Moses raised up. The fiery serpents here represented Sin, from whose deadly bite all humanity is suffering. But Christ, who knew no sin, was made a sin-offering on our behalf, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Cor. 5:21—Diaglott.) He is the antitype of the brazen serpent. The lifting up of the serpent in the wilderness prefigured the lifting up of Christ on the cross of Calvary; and the look of faith to him and the merit of his sacrifice for salvation is the never-failing cure for sin, as it is also the only hope of our fallen race.
VERSE 16 suggests the cost of the world’s salvation to our Heavenly Father. His only begotten Son was the delight and treasure of his heart; and all the painful process of his humiliation and sacrifice even unto an ignominious and cruel death were at the expense of the fondest affection of him who loves as never man loved. With the assurance of this example of divine love for our race, the Apostle Paul (Rom. 8:31-39) would further encourage our faith, saying, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
— August 15, 1894 —