"Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.John 12:27(NASB)
For three and a half years, the Lord Jesus ministered in Israel declaring that He was the promised Messiah. He boldly proclaimed that He was anointed by God to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to teach deliverance to the captives, to recover sight to the blind, and set at liberty those that are bruised. Like John the Baptist, He taught that the kingdom of God had come to earth, for He was their rightful King - but on many occasions, He informed His followers, "My time has not yet come."
The time eventually arrived when Jesus went up to Jerusalem for the last time. He knew His time was near and set His face as a flint to go all the way to the Cross. He knew that His Father so loved the world that He was given to be the Passover Lamb Who would save His people from their sin. The time had finally arrived when He would become the full and final sacrificial offering for sin Who would give His life for the sin of the world.
For three years, he had demonstrated His power over sin and Satan, the world and the flesh. He was the light Who came into the world to give light to the blind and health to men's soul. He had fed the multitudes, healed the sick, forgiven sinners, raised the dead, stilled the raging waters, and taught that He was the living water - for in Him were the words of eternal life.
The previous night, His body had been anointed with precious oil as a symbol of His forthcoming death. The disciples were confused. How could this be? They had acknowledged Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God. They expected Him to be crowned as King on David's royal throne and set up the Millennial Kingdom of God, which was foretold in Old Testament Scripture.
The crowds were shouting the words of Psalm 118 that honoured Him as their promised Messiah, and some Gentiles from Greece wanted to see Him as well. Yet Jesus knew that their adoration would be short-lived and they would falsely accuse Him of blasphemy. They would hand Him over to the Gentiles - to mock and to scourge and to crucify Him, and on the third day to be raised up from the dead.
It was at this point that Jesus knew His time had come to complete the work He came to do: "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified," He said. "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him."
Jesus, the eternal Son of God was born into the world to be our Kinsman-Redeemer, and this was the point when He knew that the time of His death had arrived. Jesus rehearsed the truth of His mission and ministry in the ears of all who stood by... but finally confessed, "Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say.. 'Father, save Me from this hour? But, for this purpose I came to this hour.'"
Only one Member of the Triune Godhead became Man. As God - He alone was good enough to pay the price of sin. But God is Spirit and only a good MAN - a perfect Man could die for the sin of the world. No wonder Christ's soul became troubled. He knew the pain that was ahead. Oh, the physical, mental, and emotional pain of being betrayed by His friends, denied by His disciples, rejected by His own people, accused falsely by the Jewish leaders, mocked and spat upon by the Gentiles, and nailed to a Roman Cross would be terrible - but it was the spiritual pain that Christ knew must happen when He became sin for you and for me that caused Him so much bitterness of soul. "MY GOD, MY GOD, why have You forsaken Me," would be the pain He had to face when He died for the sin of the world.
Christ's human soul was troubled and for a brief moment, He wondered if He should cry, 'Father, save Me from this hour'. But filled with the Holy Spirit from above, the human spirit of Christ gave the only answer that He could give: "But for this purpose, I came to this hour." Jesus walked in the shadow of the Cross His entire life and ministry. But the forthcoming shadow would stride into reality, for the hour when He would glorify the Father through His own sacrificial death had finally arrived.
For three and a half years, the Lord Jesus ministered in Israel for this very hour. The pivotal point in history that had been ordained before the world began had finally intersected with time - so that He could be the propitiation for our sins - so that fallen man could be placed back in fellowship with the Holy God Who created us.
His whole life had been set to do the will of His Father and glorify His Father in heaven. And as He utters these earth-shattering words, the singular concern of the Lord Jesus was to glorify His Father in heaven. And for those with ears to hear, a voice came out of heaven saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
May we, who have the mind of Christ through the power of the indwelling Spirit of God, seek to glorify our Heavenly Saviour - Who died and rose again so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
Heavenly Father, how I praise and thank You for Your amazing plan of redemption, and that Jesus, the Holy Lamb of God, was willing to set aside His heavenly glory, be born into this fallen race, and be made sin instead of me... so that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Thank You that when He faced the trauma of the Cross and spiritual separation from You, that He chose to do Your will and glorify Your name through the sacrifice of Himself. Thank You, Father. I pray that I may be ready and willing to give my life as a living sacrifice for His name's sake and for His greater glory. This I pray in Jesus' name, AMEN.