Tuesday in Holy Week
John 12. 20-36 – The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honour.
‘Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say- “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’ Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
An extract from an Anglo-Saxon Poem – The Dream of the Rood (The Cross of Christ), it is on the cross that Jesus’ words to Jew and Greek alike in today’s reading are fulfilled –
‘And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself’.’
The Rood in the poem is rewarded for its part in Salvation by being covered with gold, silver and with beautiful gems. It stands as a beautiful trophy to the glory of the Son of Man. Our modern equivalent might be the beautiful jewellery fashioned in the shape of the cross that many of us wear.
This week we are called to face the horror of the cross so that we can grasp the enormity of what Jesus underwent for all of us. The suffering that enabled each of us to walk as children of light. You might like to look at an image of the cross as you read the extract.
Upright I had to stand.
A rood I was raised up; and I held high
the noble King, the Lord of heaven above.
On me the Son of God once suffered;
therefore now I tower mighty
underneath the heavens,
and I may heal all those in awe of me.
Now, my dear warrior, I order you
that you reveal this vision to humankind;
declare in words this is the tree of glory
on which Almighty God once suffered torments
for all our many sins, and for the deeds
of Adam long ago. He tasted death
thereon; and yet the Lord arose again
by his great might to come to human aid.