“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. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
John 12:27–32, ESV
Jesus gave us clear indications of what His purpose was and why His death had to occur in the way that it did. He would draw from the Torah and the Prophets to show all who knew the Word what it was that must happen. Yet, it seems that no one wanted to believe it. Everything was a symbol or a sign that did not necessarily mean what it said. This is our nature, isn’t it? We like to symbolize or explain away difficult things in order to make them not be as it was stated. It’s not just with faith that we do this, but often when it comes to the Bible, we often discredit the historical pieces to try and make it point to something else or even be something more personal like I can be like God. In seminary, I had a great debate with one of my professors in which he was trying to make the line of Jesus that speaks of Him being “lifted up from the earth” a symbol. Listening to the Words of Jesus prior to this portion, it can be easily discerned that our Lord was preparing us for His Crucifixion and later His Ascension after He was resurrected. Without our Lord’s death on the Cross, we would not be redeemed of our sin but would remain caught up in them, unable to be fully cleansed. The professor was trying to catch me in a trap of making Jesus and all He did merely a sign or symbol of something. When you describe Jesus and all He did, it is not merely a symbol or a sign of our salvation, but Jesus truly is our salvation. Jesus is our Lord, not just a symbol that is meant to give us hope and point to how we can innately be good if we live like Him. Jesus never called us to see Him as anything more than He is, “The way, the truth, and the life.” He is the door through whom we must pass to enter into the Father’s glory.
Let us pray. I thank you, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, your dear Son, that you have kept me this night from all harm and danger, and I ask you to protect me this day also from sin and every evil, that in all I do today, I may please you. For into your hands, I commend myself, my body and soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel watch over me, that the wicked foe have no power over me. Amen.