‘In his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus discloses and reveals the very nature of the kingdom of God. He shows us what it is like – what is coming on that final day. We see in Jesus a preview of the coming attraction; we receive windows to peer into a future world yet to come. In the healings we see that there is no disease in the new creation; in the exorcisms we see that Satan is cast out of the new creation; in the calming of the sea we see that the curse is lifted from the nonhuman creation. In Jesus we come to know the goal that defines history and human life. But he does more than simply reveal it to us; he also accomplishes and establishes God’s reign in the midst of history. The gospel announces an accomplished redemption.” (Goheen quoting Newbigin, Duty and Authority p. 31, in The Church and its Vocation, p. 45)
The curse has blinded the minds of people to keep them from seeing the glory of God. Jesus came as the divine/human Word of God to tabernacle among us and show us the glory of God.
He came, as Newbigin said, to give us windows to peer into the new creation.
John 12 is full of indicators that point us to Jesus’ identity as the one who would bring the ushering in of the new creation and set all things back to their state of being unblemished.
Mary, the brother of Lazarus, the Mary the other gospel writers connect to a tough life, worships Jesus by washing his feet with perfume for burial, and she dries them with her hair as a beautiful act of worship to and for her Creator and healer. We see her act of worship as an indicator of who Jesus is, and he does not refuse it. Why would he? He’s her great God. The great God.
Of course, the dark kingdom hits back at Mary’s worship in outrage as Judas, who is a betrayer and thief decries her sacrifice for its price tag. Jesus places the priority front and center. They will always have poverty to deal with, but while the Creator of the universe is among them, no price is too steep to honor him, and he receives it because he is worthy. We see this lavish love from Mary to Jesus as an indicator of who he is. The One worthy of receiving the whole of creation because creation is his.
Then, of course, there is a plot to kill Jesus and Lazarus since it was because of Lazarus’ resurrection many people are coming to believe in Jesus. The darkness wants to stamp out the witness, but darkness can’t put out the light for good. Even in what it thinks is its shining moment, God will trample over death.
As Jesus rides the animal that is associated with a king coming to make peace, the people praise him, and John wants us to see this as another fulfillment of God’s word, this time from Zecharaiah 9:9. This is another indicator of who is among us. The King of the universe.
Listen to Jesus:
John 12:27-32 (CSB) 27 “Now my soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd standing there heard it and said it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for me, but for you. 31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to myself.”
The time set by Father, Son, and Spirit in eternity past is coming quickly, and Messiah Jesus prays for the Father to glorify his name through his being lifted up on a cross to pay for sin so that God would be glorified and all those who would see could peer through and see the glories of new creation being purchased.
In Jesus’ coming death, burial, resurrection, and ascension he will accomplish the end of all things. The end will have come in the middle, and we will be sent on his mission as his ambassadors pleading with the nations to come into the kingdom of Jesus while time is granted because he could literally return at any moment. We are fast approaching the climactic moment, but first, Jesus is going to prepare his disciples for those hard moments that are still in front of them.
Prepare yourself to receive his word from the last few hours of his life.