Read John 12:20-43
Pharisees and religious leaders of the first centuries were intensifying their plans for destroying Jesus. Meetings were taking place behind closed doors. In fact, they even cut a deal with one of Christ’s closest followers. Prompted by Satan himself, Judas agreed to betray his Master into their hands for thirty pieces of silver. Finally, the demonic plot seemed to be coming together.
But Jesus also recognized that this was a critical time. “The hour” had come. But this was not a fatalistic recognition of His inevitable, unpreventable demise. No, look at how He described the hour and His imminent execution.
- His execution was part of His glorification (v. 23). That’s right. The cross is part of the reason that Christ is worthy of worship. He alone was found worthy to open the scroll in heaven. He is glorious!
- His execution was essential for multiplication (v. 24). Just as a kernel of corn must die and be placed into the ground in order to produce hundreds of other kernels, so too Christ’s death would lead to countless millions finding redemption in Him. Being lifted up on the cross would cause others to be drawn to Him (v. 32).
- His execution was inherent to the Father’s intention for Him (v. 27). Christ had not merely come to do spectacular miracles and pass along stirring teaching. He had come to give His life as a ransom for many (Mk. 10:45).
- His execution was key to Satan’s elimination (v. 31). Ironically, while Satan saw this as an opportunity to destroy Jesus, Jesus knew it would be another step towards Lucifer’s ultimate defeat.
Jesus understood all of those realities about His impending death. We dare not ignore the fact, however, that He, as fully human and fully divine, was not only committed to the cross but also troubled by it (27). The physical and spiritual anguish He was to endure is, for us, unimaginable.
Knowing Christ’s commitment to God’s plan and to us, we dare not be like those rulers who believed but remained incognito. We dare not be like those who prefer the approval of men rather than the approval of God (vv. 42, 43).