This is the sermon I preached on 3/11/18 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The text was John 3:16-21. How many times have you seen signs in sports stadiums that say John 3:16? Does the average person even know what that means? It simply becomes a backdrop and is most often overlooked. John 3:16 takes on the character of background noise. We hear it so often, we don ’ t listen to it at all. At the beginning of today ’ s gospel, we listen in on part of the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus. Jesus references the story from the Hebrew Scriptures about the serpent in the wilderness. As the serpent was lifted up, so would “ the Son of Man be lifted up ” (v. 14). In John ’ s gospel, the verb “ lifted up ” has multiple layers of meaning. First of all, Jesus would be lifted up on the cross, then up from the tomb in his resurrection and finally up to the Father as he ascended. “ Being lifted up ” on the cross reveals God ’ s glory — because it is from on high — where God resides
“Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered, and sent for the sake of the world.” (Sent! by God's grace for the sake of the world, July 2006, "Global Missions Event." 5).