29 Apr Jesus’ Hour Has Come – Words of Grace – April 29, 2022
When my daughters were in high school, they played on the soccer team. Game after game we parents would sit in the stands and shout out encouragement. Our team needed a lot of encouragement.
When the game wasn’t going our way, one sweet, upbeat, optimistic parent would yell to our girls, “This is your day! Come on, this is your day!” Of course, she meant this is your day to win, not lose!
We are naturally inclined to believe that “our day” should be a good one, when we win, achieve, and shine. Our day is a day of glory.
That’s what makes Jesus’ words in John 12 so shocking. Jesus says something that cuts against our nature. He says his glory is dependent upon his death.
It almost feels like a set-up. Some Greeks are in Jerusalem because they have become worshippers of God. They request to see Jesus. Jesus is now famous enough that non-Jewish people want to meet him. He has expanded his audience and influence.
When Jesus hears that he is being sought after, he says, “The hour has come for the Son of Man (Jesus) to be glorified.” This makes sense. Finally, Jesus gets the glory he deserves because people from other nations are seeking to know him. It’s time for Jesus to get an agent.
But Jesus’ next words could not have been predicted, or more out of place by our thinking. Jesus compares himself to a grain of wheat that is planted in the ground and dies before it produces fruit. The only explanation for these words is that Jesus is saying that in this hour of glorification he is going to die on the cross.
How could death on a cross be a time of glory? The gospel is shocking. The good news is that Jesus came to earth in humility, lived obediently, and died ignominiously, for the purpose of removing the guilt and condemnation of sin that is due to us who have sinned. It is through Jesus’ death that people from all nations are brought into fellowship with God and one another as they repent and believe in him. The salvation of the new people of God is the fruit of Jesus’ death. This is his glory.
Like a grain of wheat that dies, Jesus gave himself up to death on the cross. This death gave way to victory over sin and death and separation from God. Through death, Jesus won. His death is his glory.
Jesus continues, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” This is our hour, too. This is our day to die with Christ to the old life that we may be raised with him to newness of life. And on that great Day, we will enter his glory and live with him forever.
Think on these things as you pray this weekend.