Lifted Up

John 12:27-36 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spoke to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abide for ever: and how says thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walk in darkness know not whither he goes. While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. 

The devil tried to kill Christ before He could get to the cross, but God heard Jesus’ prayer and saved Him from death (Heb. 5:7; Luke 22:43-44). If satan could have succeeded in killing Christ anytime from infancy to the cross he could have defeated God’s plan of redemption. Christ had to get to the cross where He spoiled satanic powers and triumphed over them (Col. 2:14-17; 1Pet. 2:24). His soul was troubled because of the cup of death on the cross where He carried our sin on Him.

‘I have both glorified it’ referring to Christ glorifying God in satan’s defeat; (Matt. 4:1-11) ‘will glorify it again’ referring to satan’s final defeat at the cross (Col. 2:14-17).

The people heard the voice from Heaven as a sound, like those who heard Christ’s voice to Paul as a sound, not hearing the distinction of the words the voice uttered (Acts 9:7 with 22:9).

‘For your sakes’ – for the sake of the Gentiles that had been brought to Jesus to confirm their faith in Christ.

‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.’ The 25th New Testament prophecy in John that is fulfilled through His crucifixion.

‘Judgment’ is the Greek word crisis. This refers to the judgment of the world upon the cross. Yes, salvation came for those accepting Christ and living as commanded in obedience, (1 Pet. 2:21-23) but judgment for those who seek their own glory or that of other people.

‘The prince of this world’ the Greek word archon; applied to Satan as ruler of the world-system (John 14:30; 16:11); ruler of demons (Matt. 12:24; Mark 3:22); and ruler of the air (Eph. 2:2).

‘Lifted up’ from this we conclude that Jesus being “lifted up” refers more to the heavenly exaltation through crucifixion than merely to the cross itself (John 3:14; 8:28).

‘Draw all men unto me’ It is because of His exaltation that He can draw all men to Him by the Holy Spirit and miraculous works through believers in confirming the gospel (John 7:37-39; 14:12; Acts 2:33; Heb. 2:3-4).

‘Yet a little while is the light with you.’ The Messiah does abide forever, but like the sun He is not always visible. He told them to believe in Him [trust on Him] while they can and be children [followers] of light and that darkness was to come when they longed for Him and couldn’t find Him (Luke 17:22; John 7:34; Matt. 21:43).

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