“Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.’” - John 8:28 “When you lift Me up,” Jesus said, the people will know His true identity. But while most people think of being “lifted up” as being elevated to a place of honor and prestige, Jesus knew it meant the Cross. He knew that the cost of being recognized and honored would be sorrow, loneliness, pain, humiliation, and death.
His sorrow began in the Upper Room, when He foretold the betrayal of one of His disciples. The loneliness began in the garden of Gethsemane, where He sweat tears of blood and prayed alone. The humiliation came with mocking and thrusting a crown of thorns upon His head.
The pain began with binding, beating, scourging, and carrying the weight of the Cross upon a back already bleeding and aching from open wounds. He endured the horrors of a crucifixion, the lonely hours upon the Cross.
The terrible thirst.
The cry of abandonment, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
What do we think of when we think of being recognized, honored, lifted up as a success among our peers? The pain and hardship that Jesus endured is what He had mind. He knew the price—and the blessing—of sacrifice.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends” (John 15:13).
[Photo: Mandy Petty, CreationSwap]