Sermons

Summary: Exposition of John

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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


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