Read John 12:20-36
What a bummer for the Greeks who missed Jesus—let me go Maxwell Smart on you—missed him by that much. People had come to see Jesus for about 3 years. Not all were Jews. In fact, many who were not Jews actually had better eyes to see than those from God’s Chosen people.
But these Greek men wanted to see Jesus and when Phillip and Andrew told Jesus that even the Greeks want to see you, Jesus told them they had bad timing. What bad timing.
For earlier in John’s gospel we see Jesus say that his time had not yet come. My hour has not yet come. One of these instances involves Jesus talking with his mother at a wedding where the wine had run out.
But in this 12th chapter, Jesus said that his hour had come. It’s time. Things of cosmic consequence would happen in a few square miles of our own planet. The most important thing in all of creation since creation was about to unfold its final steps.
The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. That did not mean that there would be a coronation ceremony in the temple. Red carpets would not be rolled out. Musicians would not be assembled as when Solomon dedicated the original temple. People were not digging in their closets looking for their tux or best dress and hoping they still fit.
This was something different. Jesus said that a seed is only a single seed until it falls to the ground. It’s life as a seed is over. It is more. It becomes a plant and grows and produces many seeds. Jesus spoke in figurative language. In just a few more chapters, he would tell his disciples that he wouldn’t do that anymore.
He told his disciples that if they loved this life so much that it was everything to them, they would miss out on real life. They were not ready for eternal life.
But if they really were his followers, they were about to go to the show. They were being called up to the major league. Things were about to change for the glory that would come at this time did not involve a royal crown but a crown of thorns.
The glory that Jesus spoke of would lead him to a brutal death on a Roman cross. The glory that was about to unfold would be the reconciliation of creation with the Creator and it would come in the blood of Jesus.
OBTW—it was totally undeserved on our part. The glory that was about to unfold was the unfathomable love of God that would put sinners in right standing with him through the blood of he who had no sin.
And if you think that Jesus had a God Switch that he could just flip and forego the pain, think again. He could have called the whole thing off and legions of angels would have come to his rescue. But to be the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world, he would die a real, very human, very painful—even agonizing death.
And Jesus knew it.
“Now my soul 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. Father, glorify your name!”
This was going to be the real deal. Whips and thorny crowns and hateful cries from the very people he came to save. “Crucify him!”
Not only would Jesus endure the pain—the physical pain—of being nailed to the cross and then lifted up so that every breath was labored; he would carry the sin of the world upon his shoulders. He who had no sin became sin for us.
The death sentence that was rightly ours was carried out on him. The wrath that accompanied the justice required to account for the sin of the world was poured out on that place called The Skull, Golgotha. We call it Calvary. That’s got a nice, friendly sound to it.
But what took place in those finals hours was anything but nice and friendly. As Jesus looked ahead to this death that awaited him, he said: It was for this very reason that I came. Father, glorify your name.
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
Jesus would be glorified in his death and resurrection and so too would his Father.
There are several chapters between these words and the cross. Jesus had much to teach his disciples in these few hours, but the hour had come. His hour had come.
This morning we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. There would have been no resurrection without a crucifixion. And there would have been no crucifixion without Jesus acceptance that he had come into this world for this very reason.
His blood would do for us what we could never do ourselves. No amount of sacrifices would ever get us to where we are now. We are right with God.
We can be the people that he created us to be now and forever. Sin and death have no say in our eternity. We celebrate the resurrection of the Lord today and every day.
We say, “He is risen.”
We reply, “He is risen, indeed!”
We celebrate the resurrection. I charge us this day and every day to also bring glory to God whom we know so well through his Son. Let us affirm these words:
JESUS IS LORD!