We know that Jesus died on the cross as atonement for our sins, offering us grace and forgiveness where we only deserve condemnation and damnation. But something else was happening there as well. The Son of Man came in His glory, in His beauty, and glorified God right on the very cross where He suffered that ugly death. The original Gospel proclaimed by the apostles was “Jesus is Lord.” ““So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”” Acts of the Apostles 2:36 NLT. Webster’s defines Lord this way – “one having power and authority over others: a : a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due“. If Jesus is Lord, that means He is in charge, He has power and authority. He is THE RULER by hereditary right, having been born by divine intervention in the life of Mary. It is to Him that we owe our service and obedience.
Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” Just a few verses before, we are told “Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory.” John 12:23 NLT. He knows the cross is where He will enter His glory, yet His soul is deeply troubled. It is at this point that He has a choice to make. He knows He is about to enter His glory, but He’s got to go through hell to get there. He also knows He has an audience which does not know the events which are about to unfold. When He asks if He should pray to be saved from this hour, He is letting those nearby, and us two thousand years later, know that it was His Father’s will that He endure this suffering. He is also modeling free, not forced, submission to the will of the Father. He would ask to be saved from this suffering, but He sees and understands the purposes behind it – to bring Glory to His Father.
Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” We know that the Fathers voice was heard at Jesus’ baptism and again at His transfiguration. Glory was brought through the birth, life, and miracles of His Son. And He would very soon be glorified in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He is glorified every time a sinner repents and comes to Christ. He is glorified in ways we have no understanding of.
When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him. Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. Jesus’ signs and miracles are not for His benefit but the benefit of those receiving and witnessing. They also had just witnessed His personal struggle and prayer about following through with His purpose, so maybe that was also to make sure those nearby would understand there was something bigger going on.
The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this to indicate how he was going to die.” The judgement of the world is coming in His enthronement on the cross. The immediate judgement of those who put Him on the cross. The judgement of a larger broken world ruled by Satan, dooming itself by crucifying the Son of God. Our own judgement today based on our acceptance or rejection of the work Jesus did on the cross.
In His being lifted up on that cross the world indeed was drawn to Him. He came to save, His dying on the cross finished the work of salvation He came to accomplish. When we come to the foot of that cross, we can bring our shame, our guilt, our anger, our frustrations. ““Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. But if you turn away and refuse to listen, you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies. I, the LORD, have spoken!”” Isaiah 1:18-20 NLT.
Or we can reject the gift being offered. We can remain in charge of our own lives (because that always works out so well). Christ came to save, not to condemn. But we can condemn ourselves if we so choose.
Jesus is Lord, right now. We are waiting for Him to physically return, but we forget He is omniscient and omnipresent. We are supposed to be living as though He were returning today, every day. What is the true call of Christianity? Absorbing the anger, rage, frustration, criticism, mocking and hatred of the world around us and saying – Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”….” Luke 23:34 NLT. Because that is the love of the Father shown to us by the Son.
““Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” Then a voice spoke from heaven, saying, “I have already brought glory to my name, and I will do so again.” When the crowd heard the voice, some thought it was thunder, while others declared an angel had spoken to him. Then Jesus told them, “The voice was for your benefit, not mine. The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this to indicate how he was going to die.”
John 12:27-33 NLT