Friday, March 12, 2010

Being Lifted Up

March 12, 2010

The life of Jesus. Read Today: Sent by the Father John 8:21-30

John 8:28 BBE
28 So Jesus said, When the Son of man has been lifted up by you, then it will be clear to you who I am, and that I do nothing of myself, but say as the Father gave me teaching.

So far, when Jesus has talked to the people around Himself, He talked of going to His death.  Now He talks about not dying but to be lifted up.  There are two ways He can be lifted up here and the interesting thing is that both apply to the situation.

We all know that He will be lifted up on the cross.  It was only a matter of time till the people who hated Him and His teaching were going to put Him there, it was only a matter of when and how they would be able to do it.  And it would have to be done.  In order for our sins to be forgiven, the lifting up on the cross, a sign of torture and cruelty reserved for the vilest people, had to be done by one with no sin.  He paid the punishment for my sins.  One popular Christian song says, 'I'll never know how much it cost to see my sin up on that cross'.  And I never will.

But if we look at it that way, we loose half the perspective.  Though many translations say Jesus told them 'when you' but it does not say who will do the lifting in the Greek as best as I can tell.  Not only were they going to lift Jesus on the cross, but Jesus here was going to lift Himself on the cross.  He was willingly going to put Himself on that cross, and more importantly He was going to lift His status to be back with the Father.  Jesus did not just let them lift Him up on the cross, He, by giving up His mortal body, would lift Himself back to the status He once had with His Father.  And when they saw him again after His earthly death on the cross, they would know who it was that they had condemned to death. 

So while we can look to the  cross as a place where our sins were forgiven, and it was, we can also look to it as a place where Jesus lifted Himself.

In our lives we will have tribulations, Jesus promised that.  I concider those the cross that we will have to deal with.  What we do with them makes a difference.  We can fight them tooth and nail, or we can work our way through them.  Only in the latter one to we lift ourselves to be with the Father, as Jesus did.

Read for next time: Temple debate about father Abraham; John 8:31-59
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