Gordon-Conwell Blog

Advent Devotional Day 16: Heaven Come Down

December 18, 2017

2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 16 | Heaven Come Down

John 3:13


Nicodemus, the teacher of the law, is puzzled by Jesus’ teaching about being “born again.” He cannot understand how a grown-up can reenter his mother’s womb. He is fixated on “earthly things” instead of heavenly things, and he continues to think in terms of human abilities. To this Jesus replies that he must be born of water and Spirit. But the Spirit is not something one controls. Like the wind, it is observable, but unexplainable. 

Heaven is not the sort of place we go to on our own power. We cannot earn God’s favor. Christ ascends to heaven not simply as a human being who had what it takes, as someone we might also imitate. He can ascend because he has first descended. Christ is not just an example of the strength and achievement of a perfect human being—not even a human being empowered by God, which is as much as Nicodemus can imagine. In him we have God himself coming down to take us with him, to him. Christ is not simply a perfect human being, someone who can inspire us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. He is God himself, taking the form of a servant, descending into the depths of our brokenness, and then ascending on high, leading a host of captives in his train (Ps 68:18; Eph 4:8).





     Dr. Adonis Vidu
     Associate Professor of Theology





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