Wednesday, 4 May 2016
The resurrection changes everything
John writes his gospel very carefully and loves the use of symbolism and metaphor. So every sentence or paragraph in full of hidden meanings which go beyond the story he tells. This account of the miracle at Cana is a wonderful example of that. Here he begins his account of Jesus' miracle by noting that "On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee." John makes a point of noting that it was on the third day that Jesus performed his miracle of turning water into wine and sees in it tremendous significance. Because it was on the third day that Jesus rose again from the dead. And so the reference to the third day is a reference to the resurrection which was yet to come.
He then goes on to tell the story of how Jesus turned the water into wine. Water is a symbol of ordinary fallen human life. It is tasteless and has no effect on us except to maintain our physical existence. Win on the other hand is a symbol of divinity - the life of God. Drinking it gives joy. As the proverb goes "Wine makes glad the heart of man." So when Jesus turns water into wine 'on the third day' John sees it as a foretaste of what Jesus wants to accomplish in us, through his resurrection on the third, by changing the water of our fallen human nature into the wine of a new and eternal quality of life. This can only happen through Jesus' resurrection from the dead, which we participate in by faith in Jesus. When we do that we are "born from above" into a new kind of life and, using Peter's phrase form his second letter, become participants "in the divine nature." (2 Peter 1:4.
This occurs when we present to him ourselves, our souls and bodies - the vessels filled with water - and trust in Jesus to change and transform us through his resurrection power.