On this fourth Sunday of Lent the gospel uses two important verbs to describe God’s way toward us through Jesus Christ: God “gave” us the only Son and “lifted up” this Christ for us. In typical fashion for the gospel writer John, both of these words have a double meaning.
God gave us the Son in the sense of the incarnation and in the sense of being given up to death for us. The lifting up refers to Jesus’ being lifted up on the cross as well as being raised from the dead and lifted up to heaven as our glorious intercessor. This giving and lifting up on God’s part is for us, for our good, for our salvation. God does this so that we might know and appreciate God’s love and mercy.
As we move deeper into this Lenten season, spend some time being prayerfully present to this marvelous way of God toward us (see John 3:14-21). How does this mysterious truth move your heart?