Spring is always such a lovely time for new little creatures, isn’t it? We can see that recognition of new life show up in our Easter celebrations (or at least in the candy and decorations displayed in stores) in the form of bunnies, lambs, chicks, and tulips. This is the time of year we celebrate babies and new life.
Born Again to a Living Hope
Resurrection Sunday is about so much more than new barnyard creatures, though. 1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV) tells us:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Praise God! Jesus is risen and we have the opportunity to follow him in that new life in eternity. It doesn’t get any more amazing than that. All we have to do is be born again. (Wait, what?)
When Jesus was ministering at the Passover Feast in Jerusalem, a Jewish leader visited Jesus at night. The leader, Nicodemus, acknowledged that Jesus must be from God. After all, no one else could do signs (miracles!) like Jesus did unless God was with Jesus. As if being all sneaky and declaring Jesus to be from God in darkness rather than in the middle of the synagogue wasn’t weird enough, Jesus made things really strange by announcing that no one can see the kingdom of God unless he’s born again. Kind of weird, right? Nicodemus surely thought so.
Jesus and Nicodemus went back and forth a bit. Nicodemus asked how a man could go back into his mama’s womb and be born again. Jesus said those born again are born of the Spirit (that’d be the Holy Spirit). Then Jesus said the words many adults can quote by heart:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” ~ John 3:14-16, ESV
Jesus told Nicodemus about the greatest news in the entire universe. Jesus was going to be crucified (lifted up) for the sins of all who believe in him. Anyone who believes will be saved to eternal life.
Earlier, the Apostle John put it this way: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13, ESV)
Teaching Kids About the Miracle of Birth
When my kids were younger, I would tell them about the miracle of their birth–how they developed and grew inside of me (or for our two oldest, how they grew and developed inside their birth mama). We’d talk about how they pushed their little hands against the womb, and played with the umbilical cord, and squinted at bright lights. We’d also talk about how they were born–it hurt, but in the end, we were so happy to hold them. We rejoiced over their little lives!
I want you to be able to share that same story with your kiddos. My new book, Wonderfully Made: God’s Story of Life from Conception to Birth, not only tells the story of a baby’s development in the womb, it also briefly tells the story of Nicodemus and Jesus’ discussion about the second birth before explaining the good news of the gospel. We’re giving away a copy, so be sure to enter!
Giveaway ~ Ends 4/4/16 ~ One Hardcover Copy
Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn.
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Danika Cooley is a mother of four. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest where they homeschool their youngest two children. In addition to her new book, Wonderfully Made, Danika is the author of When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), and Bible Road Trip.
Image: A New Acquaintance, 1885, Kirill Vikentievich Lemokh (1841-1910), Public Domain