Jesus said that if he is lifted up he will draw people to himself and since he and the Father are one he will also draw them to the Father. Now I know that Jesus was referring to the fact that he would be nailed to a cross and put on public display as he was brutally tortured and killed.
Jesus even makes a connection to when Moses erected a bronze serpent in the wilderness. If anyone looked up at the serpent they would be healed of their snake bite – they’d be given new life. By being “raised up” Jesus provided for us new life as well. But think about this: looking up at the crucifixion was brutal, gory and sickening – however, looking up at the risen Savior who is seated above at the right hand of the Father, now that’s a good thing. So why don’t we lift up Jesus more?
Hebrews 1 tells us that Jesus is the exact representation of God. Now I know there are many things in the Bible that don’t seem to fit together and that some are just impossible to figure out; but I also know that none of it can contradict Jesus because that would contradict God. Let’s look at three things that will help us lift up Jesus.
- We need to get along with one another. In Jesus’ prayer in John 17 he specifically asks that we get along so that people of the world will know that he was sent from God. Whoa, it seems very important that we get along. The Apostle Paul tells the church in Philippi (Philippians 2) that it will bring great joy to his heart if they are united and of one heart.
- We need to get out of the way. Continuing in Philippins 2 we read that we should do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Even further we should value others before our own selves. Paul says that this is the attitude that Jesus had and we should follow his example. In other words, it’s not about us. We need to submit to the will of the Father. We’re to love our neighbors and our enemies. This isn’t easy. This type of submission led Jesus to the cross.
- We need to get a new attitude (about who we are and where we’re from). In 1 John 4:11-12 we read that although no one has seen God if we love one another , the God who loves us will live in us and his love will be brought to its full expression. Wow, that’s a big statement. God’s love is brought to full expression in us. Combine that with the statement that the world will know the truth of God through our love for one another and you can easily see that God has asked much of us but has also supplied much in the way of life giving love. And don’t forget that in Philippians 2 Paul reminds the readers that God exalted Jesus – Jesus didn’t have to do ti himself and neither do you.
You are already a resident of heaven. We are just temporary residents here on earth. What w do for eternal things matters more that being successful in the here and now. Your permanent home is heaven and you are just setting up camp here for a short season (just like Jesus). Live like someone who has just come from the presence of the Almighty, Merciful, Gracious and Loving God.
We are the ambassadors of Christ so we must be sure we stay on point. The message is that God loves the world and wants to draw everyone (no exceptions) to himself. So, lift him up.