2019年11月23日
基督的死就是我們的生

粵語 國語

第23天


讀經:   

約翰福音三章1至16節

1有一個法利賽人,名叫尼哥德慕,是猶太人的官。

2這人夜裡來見耶穌,說:“拉比,我們知道你是由神那裡來作師傅的,因為你所行的神蹟,若沒有神同在,無人能行。”

3耶穌回答說:“我實實在在地告訴你:人若不重生,就不能見神的國。”

4尼哥德慕說:“人已經老了,如何能重生呢?豈能再進母腹生出來嗎?”

5耶穌說:“我實實在在地告訴你:人若不是從水和聖靈生的,就不能進神的國。

6從肉身生的,就是肉身;從靈生的,就是靈。

7我說‘你們必須重生’,你不要以為希奇。

8風隨著意思吹,你聽見風的響聲,卻不曉得從哪裡來,往哪裡去;凡從聖靈生的,也是如此。”

9尼哥德慕問他說:“怎能有這事呢?”

10耶穌回答說:“你是以色列人的先生,還不明白這事嗎?

11我實實在在地告訴你:我們所說的,是我們知道的;我們所見證的,是我們見過的;你們卻不領受我們的見證。

12我對你們說地上的事,你們尚且不信;若說天上的事,如何能信呢?

13除了從天降下仍舊在天的人子,沒有人升過天。

14摩西在曠野怎樣舉蛇,人子也必照樣被舉起來,

15叫一切信他的都得永生(註:或作“叫一切信的人在他裡面得永生”)。

16神愛世人,甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的,不至滅亡,反得永生。

這是一個廣為人知的故事。尼哥底母是一個非常真誠的人,他希望知曉更多。他認識到基督與神之間一定有關係,那是祂能力的來源,尼哥底母想要請教一些他自己不明白的道理。

基督對他說:「這不是你所明白的!尼哥底母,你必須重新開始,讓神賜你一顆新心和新的生命,你才能得救,與神建立關係。」尼哥底母最初的回應和隨後的問題,都可以用「如何」這兩個字來概括。

基督的講解非常棒,涉及三位一體真神的每一個位格。人若老了,怎能重生呢?就要藉著聖靈的工作賜人新生。聖靈怎能將新生賜給有罪的人呢?乃是藉著神的兒子受死。神的兒子怎能受死呢?乃是因為父神的愛。

尼哥底母是在逾越節期間來找基督。他一定聽到等待被宰的羔羊的叫聲,他當然知道這些祭牲並不能除去罪,而僅能遮蓋獻祭人的罪,這樣,神在祂兒子降世之前,才能與人同在。

尼哥底母必定知道舉起銅蛇的故事。它不是一條活蛇,否則用它來象徵基督,便等於說基督充滿了惡毒的罪。然而,基督縱使成了肉身的人,祂卻是無罪的。當祂被掛在十字架上,任何人只要舉目望祂,便能夠得救,獲得基督所講的新生。

那麼,尼哥底母怎能得著永生呢?只要仰望被釘的基督。昔日,人類始祖在伊甸園因為注目分別善惡樹上的果子,然後把它吃掉而墮落;今天,人只要注目十字架便能得救。自此之後,信徒便能靠著聖靈的能力,繼續為主而活。基督賜給我們何等全備的救恩!同時又給尼哥底母和我們一個何等詳盡的答案!

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CHRIST’S DEATH MEANS OUR LIFE
Day 23


Bible Reading:   

John 3: 1-16

1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, “How can these things be?”

10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?

11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This is a very well known story. Nicodemus was quite sincere. He wanted to know more. He recognized that Christ had a relationship with God which was the source of His power and Nicodemus wanted to know what Christ knew but he himself did not.

Christ told him, “It isn’t what you know, Nicodemus. If you want to be in a saving relationship with God, you will have to begin again and let God give you a new heart and a new life.” Nicodemus’ first statement and his further questions can all be summed up in the one word “How”.

Christ gave a wonderful explanation which involved the whole Trinity. How can a man be born again when he is old? By the personal work of the Holy Spirit communicating life. How can the Spirit do this for a sinful mankind? By the sacrificial death of the Son. How did it happen that the Son of God came to die? Because of the love of the Father.

It was Passover week when Nicodemus came to talk with Christ. He must have heard the bleating of the sacrificial lambs waiting to be killed. He should have known that these sacrifices could not take away sin but only covered the one bringing the offering so that God could live with him until His Son came.

He would have known the story of the brass serpent on a pole. It could not have been a live serpent or it would have portrayed Christ as being full of the venom of sin. But while Christ was made in the likeness of sinful flesh He remained sinless. When He was lifted up on the cross, anyone looking to Him would be saved and given the new life He was proclaiming about.

How can you have eternal life, Nicodemus? By a look at the crucified Christ. Man was lost by a look, then an action, in Eden. Man is saved now by a look at the cross. And following that saving look, the believer goes on to live for Christ in the strength of the Holy Spirit. What a complete salvation and what a wonderful answer to Nicodemus and to us all.