John 12:27-36. “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. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
It’s easy to misunderstand Jesus. Think about how many people misunderstand the meaning of Christmas. Why was Jesus born? What is the purpose of the incarnation? Why are shepherds and wise men rushing to see him?
In our passage above, it’s Palm Sunday and Jesus is preparing to enter the greatest spiritual battle ever fought. The ruler of this world [Satan] will be cast out. The judgment of the world will occur. But the only way for these two things to happen is for Jesus himself to be crucified. For him to be judged in the world’s place. The only way for Satan to be cast out is for Jesus to be cast out of the Father’s presence. And he will go through all of this alone. The One who never sinned will become a curse for us and Sin for us. Because of this his soul is troubled. And no one seems to understand.
They didn’t understand why he was distraught.
They didn’t understand God’s word to them about the glorification of Jesus.
They didn’t understand the cosmic battle that they would be witnesses to.
They didn’t understand why Jesus would have to die.
They didn’t understand that the Messiah would also be a suffering servant.
They didn’t understand that they were living in darkness.
They didn’t understand the Apocalyptic Advent.
Jack just doesn’t understand
You see, if you don’t understand John 12:27-36 then you don’t really understand Christmas. If you don’t understand why Jesus came to earth, why he was born, the battle that he came to fight for you and me, then you are still in the darkness.
But if you DO understand it, and believe it, then you are a son of light. And that is what “to live is Christ” means. That you are free from the power of darkness. That you are living in the victory that Christ has won for you at great cost. That you have been drawn to Christ by his death. That you understand Christmas. Because you understand your need for Christ.
Do you understand the true meaning of Christmas? Are you a son of light? How does our union with Christ allow us to display Christ’s glorification by the Father?