”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
Lord Jesus, it’s Monday of Holy Week. There was no doubt in your mind why you came into Jerusalem riding the foal of a donkey. There was great conflict, but no doubt. There would be no surprises. You knew what was coming.
In a just a matter of days, you would become sin for us so that, in you, we might become the righteousness of God. You would willingly and gladly take the judgment we deserve that our we might receive the grace and forgiveness we could never merit.
At the end of the week, your “bruised heel” (Gen. 3:15) would secure the ultimate crushing and “casting out” of the “ruler of this world” (John 12:30)—Satan himself. At the end of the week, you would pay the supreme price that alone guarantees the redemption and “drawing” of men and women from every single nation, tribe, people, and language—a number as great as the stars in the sky, the sand of the beaches, and the dust of the earth. At the end of the week, a new week would begin—a renewed everything.
Lord Jesus, for this very purpose you came from eternity into time and space. For this very purpose you emptied yourself of your glory by taking the form of a servant-man—the Lord’s Servant. For this very purpose the Father spoke thunderous words from heaven for our benefit. For this very purpose you became obedient—even obedient to death on the cross. Understandably so, your heart was greatly troubled.
We didn’t need a pattern to follow, but a Savior to trust. We didn’t need a second chance, but the Second Adam. We didn’t need to turn over a new leaf, we needed to receive a new heart. We didn’t need to make new promises to you, we needed the fulfillment of old promises God had made. We didn’t need more indoctrination, we needed one final substitution. We needed you, Lord Jesus.
As the events of our week now unfold, grant us grace to survey the wonders of your cross with greater awe and gratitude than ever. In a time when many in our culture are marginalizing and minimizing, denying or dismissing your cross, may our boasting in your cross grow by all-time exponential proportions. So very Amen we pray, in the beauty and bounty of your most glorious name.