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4-2-23 The Glory of God!

The Glory of God!

David Peterson / General

Cross; Palm Sunday; Jesus’ Passion; Secure / John 12:20–43

Sermon Type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: Jesus’ reaction and response reveal the key to manifesting God’s glory and triumph. The key is resting in the embrace of God which comes to us sinners in the cross of Christ.

Introduction

1. The setting—Palm Sunday, Jerusalem, Jesus anticipating this week

Some commentators are of the opinion that this episode happened in the afternoon of Palm Sunday. It is found only in John and is found right after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Others feel that it occurred on Tuesday morning, two days later. In any event, all agree that Jesus was in the Temple. (Buls’ Notes)

2. His hour had come

a. John 2:4 at Cana Wedding: My hour has not yet come.

b. John 7:30: no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. (Also, John 8:20)

3. Some call this “The Little Gethsemane”

Facing Harsh Reality

The trouble with steeling yourself against the harshness of reality is that the same steel that secures your life against being destroyed secures your life also against being opened up and transformed by the holy power that life itself comes from.

—Frederick Buechner, Presbyterian minister and American writer (1926—)

I. The Reaction: Recoil (John 12:27a)

1. His heart (his whole person) was troubled. He spoke to himself, “What shall I say?”

2. The cup he had to drink: emotional, physical, spiritual suffering

3. Jesus’ recoil was natural and without sin. It is natural to want to avoid suffering.

a. He really experienced what it means to be human

II. The Response: Submission (John 12:27b-28a)

1. The greatest cause: “for this cause came I unto this hour” (KJV)

Willing to Lay Down Their Lives for Mars Trip

The non-profit organization Mars One has set the lofty goal of establishing a human colony on Mars by 2027. They plan to send four pioneers as a test group and then to add another four volunteers every two years. They would have to be highly resourceful, since they will need to serve as the colony’s chefs, farmers, doctors, and engineers. The most striking pre-requisite is the knowledge there are no return flights. Since a one-way trip takes seven months and costs a small fortune, the volunteers need to be willing to die on Mars.

Despite this obstacle, Mars One has had no problem attracting “highly educated people willing to die on another planet.” There were more than 200,000 video applications. After much meticulous screening they were soon whittled down to 1,058, then 660, and now are at 100 ambitious visionaries.

One finalist, Leila Zucker, an emergency room physician, hopes to be as famous as Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Dr. Zucker said, “We can’t stay on this planet forever—I would argue. Let’s go now.” Other applicants enthusiastically view this mission as a way to unite humanity for one extraordinary, transcendent cause.

The Mars One web site advises: “Once on Mars, there are no means to return to Earth. Mars is home. A grounded, deep sense of purpose will help each astronaut maintain his or her psychological stability and focus as they work together toward a shared and better future.”

Source: Faye Flam, “Meet The Martians,” Psychology Today, (July /August 2015)

2. He focused on the cause—Eternal Life (John 3:16, John 17:3)

Immortality is attainable by 2030: Google scientist By Adriana Diaz March 29, 2023 NY Post

Futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted that humans will achieve immortality in just seven years.

The 75-year-old computer scientist and former Google engineer, who received the National Medal of Technology in 1999 and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2002, made this shocking prediction — and many others — in recent decades.

Now, as the fated date approaches, Kurzweil’s comments on immortality have resurfaced in a two–part YouTube series by tech vlogger Adagio.

Kurzweil has accurately prophesied technological achievements in the past — including the widespread use of laptops and an IBM computer’s win over the world chess champion Garry Kasparov — inspiring a cult following among other future-thinkers.

3. He focused on the Father—the source of his submission

Pastor’s Wife Forgives Gunman

Fred Winters, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois, was shot and killed during a Sunday service on March 8, 2009, by a troubled young man. A week after the tragic event, his wife, Cindy Winters, was interviewed by Julie Chen of CBS’s Early Show. When asked about her husband’s alleged killer, Terry Sedlacek, Winters spoke only a message of forgiveness—a message quite fitting for the Easter season:

I do not have any hatred, or even hard feelings towards him. We have been praying for him. One of the first things that my daughter said to me after this happened was, “You know, I hope that he comes to learn to love Jesus through all of this.” We are not angry at all, and we really firmly believe that he can find hope and forgiveness and peace through this, by coming to know Jesus. And we hope that that happens for him.

Source: CBS, “Pastor’s Wife Forgives Accused Gunman,” www.cbsnews.com (3-16-09)

III. The Result: Triumph (John 12:31)

1. The truth is made manifest—true judgment is based in truth

a. The truth of human beings, sin, and evil

b. The truth about God

2. Thereby the devil’s grip is broken

a. In the being lifted up blinded eyes are made to see, the truth

b. Caught up and grasped by that reality we are united to Christ and set free

Sacrificial Love

On August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit airport, killing 155 people. One survived: a four-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia.

News accounts say when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane. Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed. But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia’s name.

Cecelia survived because, even as the plane was falling, Cecelia’s mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go.

Nothing could separate that child from her parent’s love—neither tragedy nor disaster, neither the fall nor the flames that followed, neither height nor depth, neither life nor death.

Such is the love of our Savior for us. He left heaven, lowered himself to us, and covered us with the sacrifice of his own body to save us.

Source: Bryan Chapell, In the Grip of Grace (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992)

Conclusion

1. The Glory of God is manifested in those who live in God

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Duet. 33:27

2. As the old hymn says …

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasLeaning, leaning,

Safe and secure from all alarms;

3. Where are those arms to be found? Outstretched upon the cross.

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