”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
Dear Lord Jesus, it’s Monday of Holy Week, and I’m deeply moved as I reflect on how profoundly troubled you were as the events of that week began to unfold. 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, and you willingly submitted.
In a matter of days, you’d sustain the holy wrath of Judgment Day for all who will trust in you. 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’d 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.
For this very reason you came from eternity into time and space. For this very reason you emptied yourself of your glory by taking the form of a servant-man—the Lord’s Servant. For this very reason the Father spoke thunderous words from heaven to quiet our restless, needy, unbelieving hearts. For this very reason you were obedient—even obedient to death on the cross. Understandably so, your heart was greatly troubled, Lord Jesus.
As the events of our celebration of Holy Week now unfold, grant us grace to survey the wonders of your cross, with greater awe, worship and gratitude than ever before. 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.