Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lent 5 - John 12:20-33

The hour for Jesus has come. He recognized that fact. It was the hour of death but it was also an hour of glory. By His death, God would be glorified, for God’s plan of salvation would be fulfilled. When the Greeks came to see Jesus, He was the pan people wanted to see, hear, and know. As we approach Holy Week with the passion, trials, and death of Jesus, we focus on Jesus as the man of the hour.

Behold the man of the hour –

1. The wanted Jesus – Vv. 20-22 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

God’s glory was the dominating purpose of Christ’s life. the time for glory was there for Jesus. Before, the time had not been ripe. At Cana, when Jesus performed His first miracle He would tell His hearers “My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4) The life of Jesus was arranged so that He could reveal the glory of the Father by word and deed and then seal that glory by His sacrifice on the cross.

2. The troubled Jesus – Vs. 27 Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.

It was Christ’s cross that produces His glory. On the one hand Christ despised the cross. He was human. According to his human nature Christ did not look forward to the dreadful sacrifice.

Jesus knew that His death would not be peaceful. The Father would forsake Him because He would be suffering for the sins of all. His death was a frightfully depressing prospect.

But Jesus knew that this cross had to be experienced to bear the fruit of His glory. He likened Himself to a see that must be planted. He admits that this is why He came into this world. He let Himself be “lifted up” from the earth.

This sacrifice accomplished much for God’s glory. It brought salvation al all people. “I…will draw all men to Myself.” This sacrifice says the most about God’s righteousness and mercy, everything that needs to be said about God was sid when Christ died. This is His glory manifest.

3. The glorified Jesus – Vs. 28 Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." Jesus prayed for this and received an immediate answer. The glory that was to come to Christ and the Father is many sided.
God receives glory every time he reveals Himself to us. It started in the Old Testament through the promise of the Savior. The glory of God is evident from the good things said about God, especially that he is merciful.
When Christ was born, the heavens were filled with angelic voices praise God. (Luke 2)
In His ministry, Jesus directed the credit to His Father in heaven. What He said and did was always to give God glory.
The revelation of the glory of God was inclusive (cf. the Greeks vv. 20-22) When the Bible talks of the glory of God and of Christ it is talking of God’s righteousness, mercy, and love along with the total of all His attributes.

4. The magnetic Jesus – Vs. 32 But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

What is the best way to bring to the world to faith in Christ? To do so is the central purpose of the church and of each individual Christian. Some try offering various church programs. Others promise good luck and success. Some may go the emotional route – with huge gatherings, meetings, manipulative revivals, etc. All of these methods are futile. Jesus gives us the secret: His death on the cross. Our responsibility is to proclaim Christ and Him crucified. When the cross is seen, it draws men to the Master.
By faith we share in Christ’s cross and His glory. We share the same attitude toward this life that Christ had. He who loves life will lose it. Yet, he who hates life will keep it to eternal life. This life is lost in Christ – lost as far as the world is concerned.

But in losing this life will we bring honor. The glory we hare as slaves and servants of the Master is a gift. The heaven prepared for us is the same one Jesus occupies. Says the Savior in John 14:1-3, Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

This glory God has and shares with his children could not have happened without the cross. The cross brings glory. Through the cross comes everlasting glory.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld, woodcuts © WELS Permission to use these copyrighted items is limited to personal and congregational use.

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