Today’s Reading: St. John 12:24-43
“Whoever loves His life will lose it, and whoever loses his life in this world will guard it for eternal life.” (St. John 12:25)
In the Name of Jesus. Amen. St. John tells us today that some of the rulers of the Jews actually believed in Jesus. They saw the signs and they knew that He was the Christ. But they were afraid to confess Him as Christ. They loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.
Be on guard for this, dear friends! Seeking the glory of men is a deadly temptation. Who doesn’t want to be popular? Who doesn’t want to fit in and have the respect of others? I do! Admit it, you do, too.
I want to be popular so much that I don’t always confess Jesus clearly and boldly. I am tempted to deny Him, soften the Law, or cut short the sweetness of the Gospel, so that I can make someone “feel” better about me. You’ve done that too, haven’t you?
Let us fast from seeking glory from men. For whoever seeks to save his life, will lose it. The glory of God isn’t men praising you, or you looking religious for their admiration. They may adore you now, but your fifteen minutes of fame will end soon enough.
Good Friday is coming. And you’ll see the true glory of God on Good Friday! You will see how God the Father glorifies His Name by crucifying His Son for you. Christ and Him crucified for you is the glory of God!
The glory of God is Christ being lifted up on the Tree to save you and me from all the times we seek a glory from the world. When He is lifted up on the Cross, we see how God will deal with us--through His Son.
God doesn’t want to count what you’ve done against you. He doesn’t want to zot (jolt or zap) you with a lightning bolt from the heavenly cloud of His glory. No, God wants to save you, to forgive you, to have you--even you--as His child.
When Christ is lifted up on the Cross, He draws all men to Himself. When He is glorified, you and I are saved. We are dragged away from all the glory we seek from others to the place where the true glory is: God’s Son hanging dead for us.
Lose what you think is important in your life, and find all the life you need there. At the foot of His cross, you will find life that goes on unto eternal life. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
“Almighty and everlasting God, grant us by Your grace so to pass through this holy time of our Lord’s passion that we may obtain the forgiveness of our sins; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.” (Collect for Holy Tuesday)