For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God… (Jn 3:16-21)
This is the continuation of yesterday’s reading. Jesus was lifted up on the cross for the salvation of all, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert. This is God’s love. Jesus’ death on the cross is the display of God’s love for the mankind. Jesus death was not an accident. It was not God letting the worst happen to someone else. The cross is at the heart of the new picture of God which John is painting.
But evil is not healed automatically. Since evil is deep within each one of us, we need to be involved in the process of healing. What we have to do is simple. Just like the Israelites who looked at the snake and trusted in God, so too we have look at the one crucified for the sake of love and believe in him.
Believing in Jesus means coming to the light, the light of God’s new creation. Not believing in Jesus means remaining in the darkness. Darkness is condemned because evil is destroying the present world. It is preventing the people from coming into God’s new world. To be healed or to be saved one has to believe and live.