When Jesus Is Lifted Up?
23 March 2016
JOHN 12:31, 32
John 12:31, 32 (NIV)
31“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
This is a narrative on what will take place on the life of the Messiah, the Savior, whose mission is to let the whole world come to the Father as the Father took the initiative in giving His son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life.
We know that it was the Crucifixion that Christ was referring to when He said that “if I will be lifted up.”
Two things will surely happen.
(1) Judgment for the world as the prince of this world will be driven out
(2) The world will be drawn to God when Jesus is lifted up
These were pertaining to important things that will surely take place. When the prince of this world is driven out, there will be judgment for the world. On the other hand, we can say thanks be to God because through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ the world has been drawn to God as the result of what Jesus did on the cross.
His sufferings and death when He was being lifted in that two-piece heavy wood, one peace—a vertical wood signifying the relationship of God and man, God being on top, man at the bottom. Totally separated due to the condition that God is Holy and men are sinners. However, the horizontal piece of wood, symbolises the place where Christ had stretched His arms. Those pieces of wood including all His sufferings that brought Him to His final words, “Father into your hands I commend my Spirit,” made a difference on how man can go and relate to His maker. Jesus voluntarily did it for the suffering world in order to bring men to God.
What are the benefits that humanities received after Jesus was being lifted up?
(1) Jesus paid our sins, making the sinners come to God.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I was eighteen years old when I surrendered my life to the Lord. I still remember part of the communion song that touched me so much. It says, ‘He paid the debt, He did not owe. I owe the debt I could not pay. I needed someone to wash my sins away.’
Sin is very costly. Payment for the sins incurred is none other than life, a precious life. Not just a simple life of anybody else, because no one has ever deserved to pay for it. Because, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10).
Jesus took all the pains and sufferings, and finally gave His life while He was hung on that Cross. He did all of these so men can be drawn to God.
Thank God that He made a way by drawing Himself to humanities which eventually brought men to their rightful position.
(2) Jesus was made a sin for us, making us the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
When Jesus was lifted up on the cross, from noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli,, lema sabachthani?’ (which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:45, 46)
Isaiah 59:1, 2 says ‘Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God, your sins have hidden his face from you. So that He will not hear.
While lifted on the cross, as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:21, Jesus who had no sin was made a sin on our behalf. There was no righteousness amongst men, and God saw it in Jesus on the moment He was there on the cross. That is why there was darkness all over the land. Jesus felt the greatest abandonment on that very moment, that is why he cried, My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.
What a wonderful sin to ponder. The righteous and sinless Jesus, was there hanging on the cross. Let us remember, crucifixion was a judgment given to guilty people for committing wrong against someone or for sinning against the law. Jesus, who had no sin against the law or anyone, was there hanging and facing death penalty in order for us who had and have committed sins, who are all unrighteous before God, will become the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD.
(3) Jesus came not to condemn, making us children of God.
Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
John 1:12 “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
This is one of the greatest results of the cross. No condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus! Praise be unto Him.
I can vividly picture out the scene in Luke 23:39-43; One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?” We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Two criminals were on his sides, one at his left side and the other one at his right side. The former was insulting him and the latter making an appeal to Jesus. The Son of God did promise that the latter will be with him in paradise, but to the one who insulted him and was skeptical, he never did condemn.
If he has the right to bring a man to be with him in paradise, likewise, he has the power to make the ones who received and believed him to become the children of God. (John 1:12)
When he was being lifted up on the cross, despite the insults and mocking that were thrown to him, still his love and grace superseded and he made the sinners not enemies of God but children of God if they will receive him and believe him.
(4) Jesus reconciled us to God, making us God’s ambassadors.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – 20 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Hallelujah! What a wonderful privilege. Christ is making us not only free from all sins, not only creating us the righteousness of God, not only causing us to become children of God, but also an ambassador of God.
How great is this God! He trusts the former enemies of God and gives them the ministry and message of reconciliation. The sinner now being empowered? All of these were made possible because God looks at us, after our serious repentance, a brand new men and women of God. Indeed, the old has gone, the new has come!
God owes nothing to humanities; it was the people whom he created who owed him a lot;
(1) For not coming up to his expectations. He made us according to his image and according to his likeness, but we failed him.
(2) For not obeying his Great Commission. God instructed us to go and make disciples. Do we follow his commandment?
(3) For not doing our roles as God’s ambassadors. God entrusted us the ministry that he never did give to angels. In fact, when angels fell into sin because of rebellion, God never made a way to save them although they were more important or greater than men. The Book of Psalm declares that God made us a little bit lower than the angels.
Yet for us, He did something in order for us to be brought back to our God. He allowed himself to suffer, be lifted on the cross, and died. So, that all men will be drawn to God. When Jesus was lifted up, we received all the benefits of the Cross and we became the children of God. No longer strangers, but children. No longer sinners but ambassadors. No longer lost but found. Found to be the Children of the Kingdom of God.