God’s love in Jesus breaks down the walls in our lives.
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“Nicodemus said to [Jesus],
‘How can a man be born when he is old?
Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’
‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water
and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'”
John 3:4-5 English Standard Version
This is my favorite picture from my trip on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad out of Skagway, Alaska, but you have to look closely to see why. The curved rail cars and track add some drama to the picture, the green grass adds color and the overcast sky adds mystery, but it is the people standing outside the railcars that fascinate me.
The best place for pictures of the mountains was on the railcar platforms as we made our way into Canada. You didn’t see one platform without someone snapping pictures or enjoying the view.
We saw the same mountains, rivers and wildlife from inside the rail cars, but the tint of the glass dulled the view. The walls and the windows distanced us from the scenery.
What walls and windows keep you from fully experiencing the mercy of God in Christ? We all have them.
Nicodemus’ understanding of how God works prevented him from comprehending what Jesus meant by being born again (or born from above as the Greek word also suggests). Our boxes, fashioned by our opinions, have a tendency to keep us from knowing what the Word says. “That can’t be how God operates” is the force of Nicodemus’ comments…and of ours.
God loved Nicodemus, and his Word changed Nicodemus. When all of Jesus disciples abandoned him at the cross, it was Nicodemus who buried Jesus’ body, not agreeing with the ruling council that Jesus should be condemned to death.
God loves you, and his Word is changing you. His Word pulls you out of the railcar to experience his love in ways that are no longer distant from God. His Word creates intimacy with him through the power of forgiveness.
Copyright Douglas P Brauner