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. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 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.” John 3:1-8 NIV
With many of the video games kids and adults play (we’re Wii gamers), the player can start the game over if their score is in jeopardy. In life, we don’t get many chances to improve our score when our decisions cause us jeopardy, but there is a divine do-over, that every person has an opportunity to receive.
We are born of a woman–a female whose reproductive system functions as God designed and that process includes a fetus living in “water” (amniotic fluid) until it makes an appearance in the visible world. This is the first birth. Because of our flawed and imperfect natures–prone to doing the wrong thing no matter how “religious” we think we are, we do not have the power on our own to change who we are. However, when we’re born of the Spirit of Christ (the second birth)–having accepted the gift of salvation because of the work on the cross–Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, we get the Divine Do-Over.
I wish I had the time to really delve into this subject this morning, but I’ll have to summarize because of my restricted time. If we look at the rest of this chapter regarding the life of Jesus and we get to the best known (hopefully) passage of scripture, we see why Jesus had to come. “For God so loved the world (the people in it) that He gave His only Son (He came in the flesh) so that whoever believed in Him would not perish, but have eternal life (after the first death). He did not send His Son to condemn the world, but to provide an opportunity for the world to be saved through Him” (John 3:16,17 paraphrased).
That was His purpose. The methodology was taking upon Himself the sins of the world and being crucified on the cross, dying (for a moment), being resurrected, returning to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, but leaving His Spirit in the earth realm so whoever receives Him, has within them the power to not sin, when we are obedient to His guidance. Hallelujah! We have opportunity to repent–from doing things our way which is usually the wrong way, and have divine instruction–daily–if we’ll listen and obey–getting a second chance when our lives and souls are in jeopardy–a do-over–to get things right.
I am so thankful for the opportunity for this Divine Do-Over that I simply can’t thank God enough for His love and mercy. Surely goodness and mercy indeed follow me all the days of my life. It was His goodness that kept me when I couldn’t see through the darkness and His mercy that keeps me on the path of light and love–knowing without Him, I can do absolutely nothing, but with Him–all things are possible!
Victory in the name of Jesus over all the enemy has attempted to do in my life and in the lives of my family (biological and spiritual) and friends is my proclamation all day long! Now, let’s dance–thanking God for the Do-Over!