2013-08-22 - Lifted Up
John 12:31-33 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
Judgment has been on this world since the fall. Adam and Eve fell from the innocence in which they were created by trusting the smooth lies of the enemy. Sin - falling short of God's requirements - willful disobedience in the face of what we know to be right - was introduced into the human race. The first sacrifice was performed and the blood of animals was spilt to cover the sins of Adam and Eve. It was an imperfect sacrifice and would have be performed again and and again as an act of obedience pointing toward the Messiah - the perfect sacrifice lifted up on a cross.
The world has been judged before. In Noah's time the world was destroyed by a flood. God promised never to destroy the world again by water signing that promise with a rainbow. It had never rained before the flood and so there had never been that signature present. God sent Israel into the promised land as His hand of judgment against the inhabitants of the land. Revelation holds the final judgement as the armies of this world join forces against the returing Lord.
The Sacrifice Lifted Up
Jesus was lifted up as predicted in the last verse of this passage. The Messiah came and open the door way to Heaven. Light entered the world again through His teaching and sacrifice. What started as a trickle of Jews and Gentiles continues today as the Christian church. In some places it is strong and vibrant. In other places the church is oppressed and it still lives the mission. In other places it fades being bogged down in tradition or a watered-down gospel, or more as a social organization. Christ has warned that He will come and take away their lampstand, or remove His use of that church.
The World Today
We as a race continue to boast of our enlightenment - calling what is sin good, worshiping at the altar of things or power, or false religion where man is the judge and the measure of all things, or that denying God exists at all. God will not be mocked. America as a nation is deeply in need of prayer. We should not mistake His patience for anything but mercy.
The world calls us narrow-minded and our beliefs outdated. Truth doesn't change and certainly not for man's convenience.
The Good News
The good news is the author of these lies will be judged. Those of us who name the name of Jesus Christ have a job to do. We point to the lifted up, resurrected and victorious Messiah. Pray our family and friends, our local town or city, and outward from there to the world. We lift up Christ with our words and our living.
In the first chapter of the Revelation John records the glorified Jesus speaking - I am the Alpha and the Omega who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty (Rev 1:8). In other words, I have always been through eternity past, I am in the current time, and will be through the eternal future. He is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-present every where in all times. Several chapters further in the four living creatures around the Throne fall down on the faces praising the Lord as holy and worthy. We are only made worthy by His grace and mercy..
Dr Billy Graham at age 93 suffering from Parkinson's disease still reaches out to this world with the good news of Jesus Christ. He lifts up our Lord for the world to see. People, from ditch diggers to scientist to politicians come just as they are to the call of the Holy Spirit. We lift up Christ and God calls their hearts with forgiveness and love for those will will humble themselves.
The hands of time continue to move ahead. Lift Him up.
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.