The First Reading speaks of the people getting impatient because they did not go through a shorter way, instead went through a longer way. They complained and asked Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we detest this miserable food. Because of this the people were attacked by snakes and this calamity caused them to realize their sin of speaking against the Lord and Moses. They asked Moses to pray for the people. God then told Moses to make an image of a poisonous snake and lift it up so those who look at it will life.
The Gospel shows us a different kind of grumbling by the people. Jesus was telling them who he is, but the people would not understand. Jesus tells them plainly: I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he. With this, Jesus tells plainly that sin causes death and if we do not believe he is God, then we will die in our sins. What does it mean then to believe that Jesus is God? It is to believe he is divine in nature and also human in nature. This is the key to our belief as Christians: Jesus is true God and true Man, without conflict or confusion. This makes him our Redeemer who saves us from sin. This is why he says unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.
We cannot overcome our sins on our own. We are in a spiritual battle for our lives. We need to reject sin and accept God through Jesus. This is the only way to life. Which is why Jesus said when you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he. When we turn back to God, and reject sin, we lift up Jesus, we submit to him, we accept him into our lives as Lord and he rules in our lives. When he does, then we receive victory over sin and have life.
Today, we face a violent virus that infects and weakens our bodies. It has weakened the world we know. Economies and businesses collapse, people get sick and die, frontliners are overwhelmed and overworked. We pray for a quick end to this virus, that God will give wisdom to those who are fighting against this virus.
But there is a more dangerous enemy than this virus, because it not only attacks our bodies. It attacks our souls and leads us to eternal death. This is sin whose natural tendency is to steal, kill and destroy because it is driven by the thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Simply defined, sin is rejection of God. When we reject God, then he withdraws from us. God respects our free will that he will not save us without our permission.
If we want to live for eternity with God, we need to reject sin and accept him. The Psalm tells God to hear our prayers and let our cry come to him. God is here, waiting for you to call to him to save you.
If your situation, whether physical or spiritual is in a mess, if you do not see any hope in your life, if you think there is no solution to your problems, lift up Jesus and he will come to you. Surrender your life to Jesus and let him enter your life. He may not take your problems away, but he will be with you, walking with you to lead you to victory.
Lord Jesus, I come to you, burdened and overwhelmed by what is happening around me, in my life. Come and lead me to you. I submit my life to you. Save me Lord, for I trust you.