(Read John 12:20-36)
A question floating around social media right now is “What is the first thing you will do once this (the quarantine for the pandemic) is over?” There a million answers. My wife answered that we would go out to eat for Taco Tuesday. I agreed, if for no other reason than she actually decided where she wants to go eat. We have weeks to go, however, and we will see if she changes her mind. 🙂
I am joking about this, of course, and I am glad to go eat anywhere with my wife (no bats or anything weird like that, mind you), but looking forward to something makes any present situation more bearable.
In this passage, something struck me. Jesus is preparing to have Passover with his disciples, be tried, tortured, and ultimately executed. He knew what he had to do and is describing it vividly. The first thing he says, however, is “now is the hour for the Son of Man to enter his glory.”
True enough, Jesus’ crucifixion was a glory, but my guess is that he is thinking beyond that. His focus at that moment was of when he would be present with his Father again. He is focused on heaven, on eternity.
He understood, more than anyone, that death was necessary. He goes deeper in the passage, describing to us the way to life- that is, that we count this current life as nothing compared to life with him in eternity. If you didn’t catch it: death.
Literally, death is the moment of passage into eternity, but well before that, giving up our self-centered lives for the One who is eternal brings true living. The seed must die in order to reproduce into a living plant, Jesus describes.
To bear the here and now, we have to die to it. Yet, here we are and the thing about the present is that it is so, well, ever present.
So, to understand the now of our lives, we must have a heart toward the then. An eye on the ball here is required, but a heart focused on that which is eternal and ever present with Christ makes “now” make sense and makes the life we know worth it- even abundant (John 10:10).
…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2