Cross sculpture on campus



Unexpected Glory

Lent 2022

Read John 12:20-36

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.

Finally, the time has come for Jesus to be glorified. But, once again, God does not always work as we might expect.

There were many times when we might have expected to see Jesus receive the honor, status, and glory that he deserved. We might think of angelic birth announcements, miraculous feedings of thousands, blind men receiving their sight, or the dead brought back to life. In fact, we might prefer to jump from the cheers of Palm Sunday to the glory of Easter. God has a different plan.

To be lifted up connotes being raised to a higher status, held in great honor, high regard, or increased in power or position. But for our Lord, the lifting up – and the glory – comes when he is lifted up on the cross. (3:14, 8:28, 12:32). So, before we jump to Easter joy, it is important that we spend the next few weeks recalling the journey of those days that led his being lifted up for our salvation. It is helpful to take in each conversation and event recorded in Scripture that walk us ever closer to his death. As Christians, we are called to see all things through his suffering and the cross. We must not look around it, over it, or beyond it because without it we are without hope, stuck in the mire of our sin. In Christ, the cross becomes hope, defeat is turned to triumph, and death becomes life.

Prayer: Father, draw me to Christ and his work accomplished on the cross, that I would view all things through it, including my own suffering, life, and salvation. Amen

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