John goes further and theologically ties together the crucifixion, the resurrection and the exaltation. Nicodemus, of course, could not have been expected to grasp both of these connections at the time. However, the first one should have been clear. Nicodemus was challenged to turn to Jesus for new birth in the same way the ancient Israelites were commanded to turn to the bronze snake for new life. Only when Nicodemus saw Jesus on the cross, or perhaps only in still later reflection on the cross, would it become clear that the ‘lifting up’/exaltation of Jesus took place on a brutal block of wood on a forsaken site outside Jerusalem. How is our “Lifting of Oneself in Faith to God” determine our spiritual standing?
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