Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3
The story of Nicodemus fascinates: the scenario, the person he was and the conversation on that dark night long ago. Day 3 of VBS finds itself nestled deeply in the moments captured between Nicodemus and Jesus. Here, we are given an undeniable reality of our need for a Saviour, a rescue from our sin.
Our first two days of VBS, we settled in and heard stories of Jesus loving and changing lives visibly broken – those whose sin-scarred lives were not all that well hidden. Then comes day 3. Today, our person of interest looks a little different than the rest. He sounds a little different from the rest. But his need for rescue? Is exactly the same as the rest.
If I could just insert myself into Nicodemus’ place for that time. For surely there was that part of me, like Nicodemus, which struggled with the knowledge of original sin and its occupancy in my rule-abiding life. To have been face to face with Jesus and meet eyes with the Truth-Giver as he shined light into the places dark and desperate of a person “good”…what a moment that would have been.
Here is a man who, by all accounts, is doing all the right things…and yet, his soul was still tainted with that which separates us from Holy. There is a need and a happening that has yet to take place in his heart. Born Again.
“Our Saviour spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration, or the new birth, and at once directed Nicodemus to the source of holiness of the heart. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before.”
– Matthew Henry
The thoughts that must have been wrestled through the mind of Nicodemus after departing ways with Jesus that evening. I imagine a very sleepless night. How hard it must have been to take all the knowledge in his head and suddenly be forced to see it with new eyes and a new understanding.
Today’s message filled me with hope and rejuvenation for the kingdom work taking place inside our church building this week. I prayed this morning for all those who would hear the story of Nicodemus. I know how easily it is to fall under the assumption that doing all the right things, will somehow clear our path to glory. As I moved through the lesson time with children, my heart and soul were pleading that the words of truth and light would be planted in the hearts and minds of young ears listening.
I sit here tonight reflecting on the goodness of God as I recall the various places we have journeyed so far this week of VBS. For those who think this week is just for children, I would beg to differ. The God-breathed words we have spent time with this week, have tested my own heart and spoke much life and truth into me, as well as it could have to any child. As worn as I am from this hectic week, I am also full and refreshed.
Day 3 was more than a breath of fresh air. I am in anticipation to see what all we will learn in day 4 as we continue to discover through our VBS motto: Jesus sees. Jesus knows. Jesus saves. I look forward to sharing with you again tomorrow.
For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17