“When I am lifted up”

From today’s reading of Mark 11 and John 12

“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)

On the threshold of his passion and suffering, Jesus is troubled. He can pray one of two ways: “Father, save me from this hour” or “Father, glorify your name”. His heart, his mission, the entirety of who he is makes the choice not a choice at all. Father, glorify your name! This foreshadows the more intense struggle in the garden in a few days, but it seems the victory is already won. Jesus is already declaring the good news of this victory to his listeners.

He ties his impending crucifixion to the defeat of satan, to a kingdom wrested back from his scaly clutches, and speaks of himself as a battle banner raised that all people will flock to. Never before had anyone spoken of their crucifixion as a personal triumph. Crucifixion was the cruelest of punishments, created and refined by the Romans who had become very, very good at it. It was a statement of their power and a demonstration of what they did to those who defied them.

A real king wouldn’t allow that to happen to himself, would he?

Yes! Praise his name!

Now is the judgement of the world.

Now is the ruler of this world cast out.

Now I will draw all men to myself.

The world is judged in the person of Jesus on the cross, God’s wrath poured out on him for our sins. The world is judged righteously, and the Righteous One absorbs and endures it all, on our behalf.

Satan, the usurper, is cast out, because the true King has come, has fought bravely to glorious victory, and is alive forevermore!

And all who are his are drawn to him, to our beautiful Savior, our Redeemer, our Rescuer, our Hero, lifted high on the cross and now exalted to the highest place. His mission was to glorify his Father’s name.

Mission accomplished!

Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)