By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 14, ‘…so must the Son of Man be lifted up…’
‘Lifting up’ is John’s way of talking about the crucifixion. It is linked to the story of Israel’s rebellion and redemption in the wilderness. There the image of the serpent that is destroying them is lifted up on a pole as a source of healing for everyone who looks on it. We also have rebelled against life, choosing darkness and rejecting light. Threatened by the life Jesus represents, we crucify him. But in doing so, we are forced to look upon our own violence, our own evil, our own hatred of innocence. We must take a hard look at our collusion with the same dark powers we self-righteously protest. Again, this lifting up is not to condemn us; we already know, somewhere deep within, the utter wrongness of it. No, the cross is an offer of life–to see not only what we have done, but beyond that, to behold the love of God embodied in the one hanging there on the rough beams we have fashioned. This is truly the Word made flesh.
Prayer For me, Jesus, you were lifted up; in you, I behold the way of life.