Tuesday, May 8, 2012

John 12:31-36

Jesus finishes this discourse with the crowd by pointing them to the Cross.

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.  But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:31-33)

Jesus was telling them that finally sin was about to be judged. I think we tend to forget that ALL sin - the sins of the entire world, encompassing all of history - past, present, and future - would be laid upon Jesus to be judged. All of us have felt the incredible burden of the guilt of even one sin. When we think back (and maybe not so far back), we can think of something (or many things) we did that caused us absolute agony because of the guilt and shame. Now think about how that horrible feeling for ALL of humanity was heaped on our LORD, who was Himself innocent! The Cross would actually separate Him from His Father!

Jesus did this willingly, because we needed salvation. He was about to break Satan’s hold over those who would believe. He was going to completely cleanse and make righteous those who had been in bondage. And He promised here that He would draw all men to Himself on that Cross. Courson writes about how it truly is the message of the Cross - forgiveness and cleansing from sin - that draws people into our churches. It’s not the hip youth group or the rockin’ music - it’s the message of the Cross. People are so hungry to hear it!

The crowd was confused by Jesus reference to His death, because they were looking for a Messiah who would save them politically. They only saw the one coming of the Messiah. They missed the Lamb of God who would be slain, because they were expecting the Lion of Judah.

The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 

Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.  Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. (vs.34-36)

Courson writes, “Jesus doesn’t answer them directly, because, you see, He Himself is the Answer. He answers as if to say, ‘You guys want to talk about theology, but I want to talk about relationship. While you have Me, link yourselves to Me. Stay close to Me. Enjoy Me.” (Courson, P. 543)

In other words, walk in the Light while you can! And He could say that to us today! We’ll see tomorrow that TODAY is the day of salvation. You can’t put it off, because none of us knows when our time on earth will be up. This has been brought home to me so much this past year. I’ll soon be attending my sixth funeral of the year - and only one of those was for an elderly person!

Yesterday our school staff lost a very dear, gentle teacher after a long battle with cancer. Jenny was only 48. This has been an extremely difficult year for our school. Death sucks! For those who go to be with the LORD there is celebration, but for those left behind there is mourning. Thank you, LORD Jesus, that your death guaranteed our eternal life when we put our faith in You.  

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