Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, in the same way the son of man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may share in the life of God’s new age. This, you see, is how much God loved the world: enough to give his only, special son, so that everyone who believes in him should not be lost but should share in the life of God’s new age.
— John 3:14-16 (NTE)
As we begin a new year it can be helpful to pause and refresh ourselves on the basics of our Christian faith. At its core, the good news of Jesus is that he is the new Moses who leads us out of exile into the “life of God’s new age.” Jesus is also the “once for all” sacrifice (Heb. 10:10), suffering servant (Isa. 52:13), and lamb that has been lifted up and is now seated in the throne of God (Rev. 7:17). Jesus is the living embodiment of hope and healing for the broken human family.
In a world that needs tangible reminders of God’s love, let us be bold in demonstrating the love modeled by Jesus, who was willing to be lifted up, broken, and poured out for the restoration of the world. Remember, he even gave his life for those who betrayed him. The hardest commands of Jesus to put into practice are those that call us to love our neighbor, to love our enemies, and to love ourselves (Lk. 10:27). This year, may we call upon the Holy Spirit to give us eyes to see others and ourselves as God sees us: worthy of transformational grace and love because of Jesus’ ongoing, shepherding intercession for us.