God shows mercy and turns fear into healing
John 3:14-16 Nicodemus Visit’s Jesus
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever 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 may not perish but may have eternal life.
‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’
For me, it’s a little like Moses taking a snake and putting it on a stick, or Jesus offering forgiveness from the cross…. These are the ways that God is sending us mercy, forgiveness and healing. In a world full of trouble, we are invited as disciples to point people to Jesus – to show them the way to salvation. And sometimes that means taking the thing we fear the most, like a poisonous snake, putting it out in the open for all to see, naming it and being healed by it.
Because when we see that racism, homophobia, classism, sexism, religious intolerance, consumerism and our reckless abandon for the creation and the host of other things that seem to poison us these days are named for what they are – sin, we can begin to experience the mercy of God to heal us, forgive us and call us anew to live in the Kin-Dom of God. These things that we fear called into the light of day are the points that we experience the love of God and the mercy of God because we are no longer captive to sin – we have been offered grace and new life.