August 17, 2020

Jesus Predicts His Death

John 12:20-36

“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”

—  John 12:27-28

It’s easy for us to know that Jesus is God because of all his miracles. But this episode reminds us of Jesus’ humanity. Here, in John 12, Jesus tells the disciples that his soul is “troubled.” He knows the pain that he must endure by dying on a cross—both physically and spiritually—as he bears the weight of all human sin on himself. Thinking about that leaves him feeling troubled.

How does this feel to us as readers? What does it say to us that Jesus experienced a moment of weakness like this?

As one who is fully God, Jesus absorbed all the sin we have done and will ever do, in order to cleanse us completely. He is the one, final sacrifice for the payment of sin—and that is only possible because he is fully God.

But because he is also fully ­human, Jesus experienced emo­tion, a troubled soul, and even deep questions. At this moment, and in others like it, we see the depth of God’s love for us revealed in a new way.

Notice that in spite of these feelings, Jesus remained obedient. He did not stoically bear the cross without feeling. It hurt—far more than we can imagine.

And yet in spite of the pain, Jesus remained faithful, committed to God’s mission of redeeming us and restoring the world (John 3:16). How great is his love for us!

Father, in my moments of weakness, help me to remember the great love you have shown through Jesus and his willingness to suffer for my sake. Amen.

About the author — A.J. Gretz

Anthony Joseph (A.J.) Gretz is a pastor in Grandville, Michigan. He has also served churches in Ohio and in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He and his wife, Anna, have three children.

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