Have ever been to SeaTac airport? While the company I work was building facilities in China, I was part of the construction crew and we flew many times from SeaTac. You start out at the main terminal and then take a subterranean train to S gate. When you exit the train you can’t see the terminals or anything else, just a big lobby with escalators on the opposite walls. Because of the shape of the room and height of the gate platform you can’t see the top of the escalator. It seems to go up into nothing. The first time I saw this set of escalators I was more than a little intimidated. What was at the top?
What if the escalator was going down but my goal was to get to the top? How difficult would that be to get me and my luggage up to the top when the ground or steps beneath me kept carrying me down?
I struggle with a deeply seated feeling that I have to earn my way into Gods favor. The image I struggle with is like God is at the top of a very long escalator. The escalator is going down. I must climb up if I am going to get to God. My good works and perfect life are what help me climb up but all the while sin and temptation and my flesh are taking me down. I dare not rest, no I cannot rest because the escalator keeps chugging downward.
It isn’t true. If God is my Heavenly Father then I am his child and my relationship with him was established when I was born anew or born again into his kingdom. I do not have to fight and struggle to be loved by him. I am loved because I am his.
One night Jesus met with a high ranking leader of the Jews. The meeting was secret. Jesus explained this concept of new birth to Nicodemus and left us with one of the most hope filled scriptures in the Bible.
“Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
John 3:1-21 – NIV
For God so loved the world, Jesus was lifted up on the cross to pay for my sin so that I can be forgiven and loved by God. I have been born again into God’s family.
This is all available to anyone who is breathing. Where there is life, there is hope.
Jesus did not come into the world to condemn us but instead, to save us.
Do you need help? Do you need a rescue? Do you need a rest? Do you need a living Father to help you and hold you? Come to Jesus. Be born of water and spirit into a new family.
Get off the escalator and rest in God’s love for us, his love for you, and his love me.