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Summary: The road to glory is self-sacrificing love

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John 12:20-36, March 15, 2009

The Glory of the Cross

What do you imagine Jesus will look like in his glory?

Images that come up when you search “Jesus Glory”

“Go for the Glory” – said in sports, usually means beating all the other competitors soundly.

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The Glory of the Cross

We have glorified it because of what the cross does for us – the cross as love & payment for our sin – the ultimate act of love – in this way it is glorious

– in Jesus’ day the cross was a huge shame.

– Describe the shame – nakedness, physical humiliation, blame (you must have done something horrendous if they are crucifying you), curse

Galatians 3:13

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Quoting Deuteronomy 21:23

Great paradox – Jesus asks the Father to glorify him and he means the crucifixion.

God’s economy of glory seems upside down.

God’s economy of glory in our lives:

Seeds die before life comes

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!"

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus." 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

All the “world” was beginning to come to Jesus, but it was Jesus’ death, (which usually ends a movement,) that predicated the intense growth of the early church to the ends of the then known world

Verse 32 –

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."

Dying to self – counselling Michael and Tarek

If I had held onto my goal of looking after both boys, neither of them would have had a good camp experience.

It’s not about me – dying to self –

Its about everyone else

1 Corinthians 10:24

No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

Its about God and the kingdom

Matthew 6:33-34

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Letting our dreams die

Sometimes we have such a firm grip on the things we want in life that we will not let go of them enough to receive what God wants to give us. – what God wants to give us is far greater

Try to save your life lose it, try to lose your life, save it

Jesus says this in each of the 4 gospels in different context – which would say that he said it often.

Matthew 10:38-39

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Rich young ruler – what do you trust in?

Has anyone experienced this principal in their own life?

When churches start to try to save the institution, it spells death – outreach for the purpose of filling the pews and the coffers leads to death

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” - Tertullian

To spend yourselves on behalf of the poor…

Isaiah 58:9-11

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.

The LORD will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

Bonhoeffer wrote: “The cross is laid on every Christian. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death–we give over our lives to death. The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

Service leads to greatness

Mark 10:42-44

Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.

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