24th Sunday of the Year-A
The Triumph of the Cross
I Reading: Numbers 21:4-9: God was prepared to save the lives of those Israelites who rebelled against Moses and the hardships of the desert.
II Reading: Philippians 2:6-11: In Jesus, God chose to become one of us. Through the pain and humiliation of the cross, Jesus raised our humanity from degradation to glory.
Gospel: John 3:13-17: Just as Moses lifted up a bronze serpent n order to heal those who would otherwise have died, so Jesus, through the cross, gives life to those who search for him.
Gospel: John 3: 16-18: God sent his Son so that through him the world might be saved.
The feast of the triumph of the Cross reminds us/ the whole humanity the saving act of Jesus through his death on the Cross. He made pardon available to everyone those who asks God’s forgiveness. He set human beings free from the power of the sin and death and opened the gates of heaven to everyone. Jesus had a victory over sin, death, the devil, injustice, inequality and all kinds of corruptions and exploitations. He gave us the true peace, joy, happiness, forgiveness and freedom to live in the kingdom of God. But as far as we are concerned, the battle is still going on. It is up to each one of us to choose between good and evil and life and death.
We must be aware of two things: first, of our own weakness and sinful life and secondly Jesus’ own strength and the power to forgive sins. No one on this earth has the power to forgive the sins of people but only Jesus has and he has also the power over death and gives the eternal life and true peace.
Jesus reveals to Nichodemus the meaning of the new birth from heaven or above. His origin is from heaven and his timeless experience is from heaven. The new birth secured by two acts: first, by Jesus’ death and secondly by believing in Jesus Christ (Jn 3:14) so that everyone who believes may have eternal life.
Why should Jesus have to suffer and to die on the cross to save us? The Father sent His only Son into the world to save mankind but people killed him. Why? The devil or Satan wanted to block human’s salvation so he led certain people to kill Jesus but the devil, the enemy was defeated on the Cross and destroyed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The humiliation of Jesus brought forth the glorification of Christ and the salvation to the humankind (Phil 2:6-11).
We must be saved through our own cross or sufferings or persecutions. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Lk 9:23). The rich young man asked Jesus. Master, what must I do to inherit the eternal life? Jesus said to keep all the commandments of God and he replied, I have kept all these; then Jesus said, you go and sell all your wealth and give to the poor and follow me. The man went away with a sad face after hearing such a great demand.
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt 11:30). When we believe in the power of Jesus and follow him: The Cross of Jesus Christ gives us an enormous hope, courage, strength, joy, peace, endurance and happiness in our lives.
Revelation: God’s Great Love, John 3:16-18
This is the world’s most well-known Scripture. Brief and to the point, Jesus revealed God’s great love.
1. The fact: God so loved (v.16)
2. The evidence: God gave (v.16)
3. The purpose: To save (v.16)
a. From perishing
b. To eternal life
c. By believing
4. The proof: God sent His Son (the Incarnation) (v.17)
a. Not to condemn
b. But to save
5. The means: Through Him (v.17)
Thought: God’s love is that God took the initiative to save human. Human did not seek to save himself or herself; God sought to save him/her. God gave His Son so that we might be forgiven and saved. God is the seeking Saviour.
Christ was not sent to condemn or judge us but he was sent to save us from perishing and to save us to eternal life (1Cor1:18).