“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3, ESV)
My granddaughter’s birthday falls on Easter this year. As I made plans to celebrate with her, I thought about all the excitement and joy she has brought to our family. This contemplation also grew my love for my daughter-in-law who labored to bring this new life into the world and who has loved her ever since.
Giving Birth to New Life
It isn’t easy to have children. A mother carries the burden and weight of a baby for 9 months. She selflessly allows that little life to grow inside of her. She longs for the day she will give birth and finally be able to start a new life with this little person. Although labor and birth are difficult, messy, and embarrassing, she gladly bears it for the joy set before her.
Excitement grows when the day that the baby will breathe its first breath arrives, but the mother must suffer first. The pain starts. Her naked body is exposed. Water and blood flow out of her. Yet, she bears it all, glad to bring new life into the world. It is a momentous event and worth celebrating. So, on Easter weekend, we will celebrate Greta’s birth.
I will also be celebrating my life: my life in Jesus. Now is the time of year that I focus on my new birth, the life I have because Jesus labored for me. Jesus said you must be born again, and thankfully he labored so we could be “born again.”
Being Born Again
He carried the burden of human flesh, being born as a man. He was weighed down by the sins of mankind as he carried that weight to the cross. When the time came, he started the necessary labor.
He did it gladly. He knew what it entailed. He would have his nakedness exposed. Blood and water would flow out. “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” (John 19:34, ESV) It was a messy and embarrassing scene, but Jesus bore it. He knew the joy that new life brings. “For the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2, ESV)
We could not labor to bring ourselves to life, physically or spiritually. We enjoy the benefit of someone else’s labor and suffering. I am thankful for my family and look forward to Greta’s upcoming birthday celebration. Greta is my granddaughter, born into my family, and I am so proud that she belongs to us.
But I am even more excited to celebrate Good Friday and Easter. By Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, I have been made alive in Him. I belong to God’s family forever. I have been “born again” by the labor of Jesus. I have a new, eternal life and I am the child of God. He is proud to call me daughter and He is excited that I belong to Him.