Sermons

Summary: Exposition of John

Text: John 12:23-26, Title: Dying to Live, Date/Place: NRBC, 2.17.13, AM

A. Opening illustration: that song a couple years ago by Tim McGraw called Live Like You Were Dying

B. Background to passage: I’m skipping over the triumphal entry passage for now, may come back on Palm

Sunday, but not sure yet. I want to focus on the teaching passages of the last week of Jesus’ life. This next

teaching does come in the context of the wake of excitement after the triumphal entry. The Pharisees noted

that “the whole world has gone after him,” and began to plan to kill him. It is interesting that John specifies

that these were Greeks (probably “God-fearers”) who wanted more than a sighting or an autograph, they

wanted time to interview and engage with Jesus. We are not told whether or not Jesus did anything with their

request, but we are given the teaching that their desire precipitates.

C. Main thought: Jesus gives to foundational centerpieces to the significance of the events that will culminate by

the end of that week: the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus

The Centerpiece of Christianity (v. 23-24)

1. This is the first time Jesus has spoken of “the hour” being here. Perfect tense. This “hour” is the reason

for which he has come, foreordained from before the foundation of the world, not a cosmic fix to a

jumbled up mess. He speaks of this “hour” as the time when He would be glorified. This “hour” is his

crucifixion, death, and resurrection. This the centerpiece of our faith. It is the only thing that makes our

faith possible. It is that which makes reconciliation and salvation possible. Preach the cross! Recount

some of the details, and speak of their beauty.

2. So how is a violent, bloody, humiliating death glory? Glorification means for something to be adorned

with appropriate splendor. It’s beauty comes in a number of facets, in fact too many to even comprehend.

But here are a few as we think about the glory of the cross. 1) the beautification of the character of Christ,

2) the accomplishment of the Father’s will, 3) the submissive obedience to death, 4) the unjust suffering

and sacrifice, 5) the forgiveness of sinners, 6) the love of God poured out on us making a way for the

ungodly to be declared clean and righteous. The greatest tragedy of justice ever told is the most glorious

event in the history of creation!

3. John 17:1-5, Isa 60:9

4. Illustration: read some hymns from the hymnal, pages 140 on, While preparing for a communion service

in 1707, Isaac Watts wrote this deeply moving and very personal expression of gratitude for the amazing

love that the death of Christ on the cross

5. The cross is not only central to salvation, which is most important, but it is central to everything about our

lives in Christ. It informs our relationships about the sinful influences that affect the way that we treat

people. It reminds us of our desperate need for Christ in overcoming sin and brokenness in our lives due

to it. It frees us from guilt associated with every kind of failure in our lives. It reminds us and reaffirms

God’s never-ending love for us when the world says he has forsaken us, or when our minds attempt to

deceive us or accuse us. It offers the only grounds for forgiveness for every wrong you’ve done, or that

has been done to you! Look through the stain-glassed window of the cross at your wife or husband…at

your neighbor… at your co-worker…at your son or daughter…at your customer or client. Look through

the eyes of forgiveness, compassion, love even when you have been severely wronged! You can only do

this because of the cross

A.

B. The Centerpiece of Abundant Life (v. 25-26)

1. With the exception of the paradox of how God

to be radically committed to the fame of his own name,

and yet justify the ungodly who have trampled upon it; this paradox about the origin of the fullest, and

most abundant life being offered in death, self-denial, sacrifice, and the hatred of human desires and cares

is probably one of the most stupefying. But Jesus says that if you want to live, you must die. He teaches

this with his words and his actions. But how can that be??? How could one die alone and find endless

fruitfulness and life??? Jesus explains that those of us who relish affections for things of this life will

destroy our lives. The word there suggests that those who love their lives are concurrently destroying the

life that they seek to preserve. Self-focus destroys. “The person who loves his life will lose it: it could not

be any otherwise, for to love one’s own life is a fundamental denial of God’s sovereignty, or God’s rights,

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