Jesus lifted up; prince of darkness driven out!
Scripture reading for May 22nd: John 12:20-50
Jesus was in an intense spiritual battle with the prince of darkness as He approached the final days on earth. Many people had welcomed Him into Jerusalem crying “Hosanna” and great crowds looked for Him and many followed Him. The religious leaders were plotting His death and one of His own disciples was preparing to betray Him. He knew from His Father that He was to willingly lay down His life for His people and for the whole world.
A group of Greeks came to the disciples and wanted to see Jesus. “Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves Me must follow Me; and where I am, My servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves Me.” (John 12:23-26) Jesus was saying that His time to die was near. Anyone wanting to follow Jesus, must be willing to follow Him, even to the point of giving up their life. Curiosity and commitment are two different things. The Father would honor commitment.
“Now My heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your Name!” As Jesus prayed, suddenly a voice from heaven spoke, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:27-28) The Father had spoken to encourage those who were listening to His Son.
“Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:31-32) As Jesus was encouraged by His future glorification, He explained the purpose and manner of His death. He would be nailed to the cross and lay His life down while bearing man’s sins. Judgment would come on the world and the prince of this world, Satan, would be driven out! Death would be defeated and all men would be drawn to Jesus Christ!