To be “lifted up” points to Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross as an offering for the expiation of man’s sins and reconciliation with God. It alludes to the incident in the desert where Moses lifted the serpent mounted on the pole, and those who looked upon it after they had been bitten were healed (cf Nm 21:9).
In commemoration of the Passover event, the “lifting up” of Jesus on the Cross also recalls the paschal lamb’s blood sprinkled on the doorpost of Jewish homes because of which the firstborn of the Jews were spared from the passing angel of death (cf Ex 12:27). It is also reminiscent of the covenant ritual of the lamb’s blood offered for the atonement of sins and sharing in the life of God. But the real “lifting up” and “exaltation” is Jesus Christ’s resurrection, when he rose from the dead and brought eternal life to all of humanity.
Gospel • JOHN 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.