Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Crescendo- Portraits in John 12

(I hope you take time to go to the links in this post)

Definition of CRESCENDO

a : a gradual increase; specifically : a gradual increase in volume of a musical passage
I don't know if you have ever done so, but if not, I encourage you to read all of the gospels through at some point to capture the flow. Each gospel has a unique audience and purpose.

The first three gospel are called 'synoptic' (common view) and are quite similar in style and narrative.

The gospel of John arises at the end as a completely different style and perspective. It has a very clear, stated purpose and moves along in photographic snapshots.

When we get to the last week of Jesus' life  the snapshots begin to flicker at a faster rate and you feel the drama building.

There was a gospel album produced in 1984 by Michael Card entitled 'Known By The Scars' and I am even listening to it (The Song: Ride on to Die) now as I read verse 15 of this flashing, cinematic crescendo in the shadow of the cross.

Oh, daughter of Zion your time's drawing nearDon't forsake Him, oh don't pass it byOn the foal of a donkey as the prophets have saidPassing by you, He rides on to die
I linked the video here: Ride on to Die
John 12- He dies in Seven Days

Martha annoints His feet with expensive ointment, wiping it with her hair.
The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 
Judas, one of His own disciples and about to betray Him, objects,

He says- "What a waste! This should have been sold and given to the poor"
He means- "I just lost a chance for some profit to fill my greedy bag of swindled coins!"

Jesus responds: “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it3 for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
The large crowds gather:
To see Jesus, but also to see Lazarus.

Because of Lazarus:
Some had begun to leave Judaism and follow Jesus
The chief priests were plotting Lazarus' death because people were leaving Judaism and following Jesus.

He dies in Six Days

Palm Sunday- large crowds cheering as He rides into Jerusalem, shouting "OH SAVE"
I have always loved this old song by Michael W. Smith,


Though they have been told and shown over and over, the poor disciples still lack understanding.


It won't be until the resurrection that all the pieces will come together and they know.

The growing crowds, Lazarus alive, make the Pharisees desperate:
“You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”
Even the greeks are seeking Him. The growing momentum triggers the inevitable event.
 23 And Jesus answered them, i“The hour has come jfor the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, kunless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 lWhoever loves his life loses it, andmwhoever nhates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must ofollow me; and pwhere I am, there will my servant be also. qIf anyone serves me, rthe Father will honor him.
 QUESTION: Are we continually pressing into this self rejecting call? There is great incentive here, but also many obstacles.
27 sNow is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, tsave me from uthis hour’? But vfor this purpose I have come to uthis hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then wa voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 
OBSERVATION: The road Jesus takes is HARD. He kept His scars. He died in humiliation to glorify the Father.
29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, x“An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, y“This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 zNow is the judgment of this world; now will athe ruler of this world bbe cast out. 32 And I,cwhen I am lifted up from the earth, dwill draw eall people to myself.”

CELEBRATION: Christ's death day is Satan's doomsday. Notice 'Now will the ruler of this world be cast out'. People, because of the new access to God's Holy Throne, will be drawn to Jesus.

 (The people ask)Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, i“The light is among you jfor a little while longer. kWalk while you have the light, lest darkness lovertake you. mThe one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become nsons of light.”
DEDICATION: The apostle John will re-write these words years later, old and full of grace in I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.
 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in himNevertheless, vmany even of the authorities believed in him, but wfor fear of the Pharisees they did not xconfess it, so that they would not be xput out of the synagogue; 43 yfor they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
REJECTION: Christian apologists have said for years that following Christ is not a 'head' problem, it is a 'heart' problem. The evidence is enough, but the callous rejection is the prison of a dead will.
44 And Jesus cried out and said, z“Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but ain him who sent me. 45 And bwhoever csees me sees him who sent me. 46 dI have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone ehears my words and does not keep them, fI do not judge him; for gI did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

SANCTIFICATION: Come out of the dark where we live in shadows of sin and shame. Come into the light! Jesus will not condemn you, He wants to restore you. Rev. 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 
48 hThe one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; ithe word that I have spoken will judge him jon the last day.49 For kI have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father lwho sent me has himself given me ma commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
GLORIFICATION: No man can understand the words- 'eternal life'- it sounds too good to be true. But this indescribable blessing is bought and paid for and sealed in the promise of God's Word and protected in the power of His authority.


He gave His life so you would understand
Is there any way you could say NO to this man?

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