Fourth Sunday of Lent
Reading I: 2 Corinthians 36:14-17, 19-23 (dissolution of Judah)
Reading II: Ephesians 2:4-10 (generosity of God’s plan)
Gospel: John 3:14-21 (Jesus’ teaching to Nicodemus)
Key Passage: Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17)
Adult: Do you see the world as basically evil, or as good? What difference does this make in the way you live?
Child: Where do you see goodness in God’s world?
The meaning of the number “Eight” in the Bible is “New Beginnings”
- The eighth day was new after God rested.
- There are 7 days in a week and the 8th day is a new beginning.
- Christ rose on the 8th day which was a new beginning for the world.
In Hebrew the number eight is Sh’moneh from the root Shah’meyn, “to make fat,” “cover with fat,” “to super-abound.” As a participle it means “one who abounds in strength,” etc. As a noun it is “superabundant fertility,” “oil,” etc. So that as a numeral it is the superabundant number. As seven was so called because the seventh day was the day of completion and rest, so eight, as the eighth day, was over and above this perfect completion, and was indeed the first of a new series, as well as being the eighth.
Eight BY ITSELF
It is 7 plus 1. Hence it is the number specially associated with Resurrection and Regeneration, and the beginning of a new era or order.
When the whole earth was covered with the flood, it was Noah “the eighth person” (2 Peter 2:5) who stepped out on to a new earth to commence a new order of things. “Eight souls” (1 Peter 3:20) passed through it with him to the new or regenerated world.
Hence, too, circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day (Gen 17:12), because it was the foreshadowing of the true circumcision of the heart, that which was to be “made without hands,” even “the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (Col 2:11). This is connected with the new creation.