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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. 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.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 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?” 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. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
There is so much in this passage that strikes me – so much tension and unseen drama. Though the crowd was completely oblivious, Jesus is coming to the end of the most significant quest in history. It was the culmination of a mission which originated in the Garden of Eden. It was the crescendo of a spiritual struggle that started long before that. Jesus Christ, equal with God, through Him all things on earth were created, was prepared to die at the hands of the very people He created.
I can’t shake the phrase, “Now my soul is troubled.” Jesus’ divinity knew what was coming, and His flesh trembled. Not one of us can imagine the weight of the sin Jesus carried to the cross – a staggering burden. I only know my sin was included. He bore it to the cross though it cost Him everything.
I’m also struck at that last phrase – Jesus tells the crowd, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you.” In our day, this phrase takes on extra meaning. We see light fading and shadows beginning to lengthen. Each day, I wonder how much longer until the Lord decides, “That’s enough. This day has passed. Time to call my children home.”
Of course, He hasn’t done that, yet. Peter said that God is slow, patient, not wanting anyone to perish. So the Church must continue to shine the light of Jesus into the world until night falls. Lord, give us endurance to shine, even as the darkness of our culture fights against the light. Keep our eyes on the light; don’t let us become fixated on the darkness. Find us faithful, Lord, until you call us home.