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came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.”*
In these few lines we see the wondrous mystery of “God manifest in the flesh,"
Jesus, the Son of Man, was troubled at the awful hour which had from His birth been slowly drawing nearer and nearer. It was come, and His soul was troubled. This was the weakness of the flesh, of His human nature ; but not for one moment did it have the mastery. Jesus the Son of God lifted up His voice to His Father in heaven. What was His prayer? Not that he might be saved from that hour, but that the Father's name might be glorified ;—yet He knew that it was by His agonizing death it was to be glorified.
The answer came straight from heaven. “I have both glorified my name, and will glorify it again.” God had glorified Himself from the beginning in the plan of man's redemption. It was still carrying out, and when at last it should be finished on the cross, then, and not till then, the Father's glory in His Son should be accomplished. Jesus knew it, and still be prayed,
Father, glorify thy name.” Surely we should learn from Him thus to rise above the dark troubles that sometimes gather round
It is true that He has borne and carried away the worst of our griefs ; † for if we believe His word we may know assuredly that in the end through Him we may be saved ;-yet there are dark days when we cannot take from this all the comfort that we might.
Human nature shrinks from death. We know that we must
* The words in the language in which they were spoken, express a deep and sorrowful agony-an intense personal sorrow; but, mingled with the sigh of lamentation, there is a prayer to God, in which the grief of the Saviour's soul passes away into holy desire, that the Father's will may be done.-Olshausen, vol iv. p. 29.
of Isaiah liji.
die, and that each day the hour of death draws nearer. We know it, but do not dwell upon the thought, nor should we, for while life is given, our business is to live. But there are times when death draws so near that His solemn shadow falls upon us, and each one then, young or old, rich or poor, low whispers, “Now is my soul troubled.” When in old age each hour leads death nearer and more near, then from the corner of the cottage fire where the poor man bends, and from the softest chairs where the rich man leans, that voice will often rise;—“Now is my soul troubled.” From the lowly pallet bed near the lattice window, where the cottage girl lies counting the hours of life as they ebb away: and from the well-ordered couch, where fades as quickly, her richer sister, born of higher rank, but made like her of sinful, suffering clay,-- from each, these words are breathed, “Now is my soul troubled, Father : save me from this hour." Then comes the blessing of belief. Like dew upon the fainting flowers, so comes the remembrance of the suffering Christ. My Saviour felt the sorrows of this hour, and His soul was troubled. He had no need to die, but for me He chose to die. For me He suffered far more than I can ever suffer. He felt the gloom of coming death, but he would not pray “ Save me from this hour.” His prayer was, “ Father, glorify thy name.” and the answer came from heaven. Even so will it come to me, if like my Saviour, I can rise above my griefs, and only wish that in me my God may be glorified. He has glorified Himself in bringing me to this hour, He will glorify Himself in bearing me safely through it, to the blessed home won for me by His Son, who is my Saviour and my God.”
Thus, the remembrance of Christ, works in us the mind of Christ, and bearing the spirit up above our pains and griefs, enables us even before we are set free, to rise with Hin to God's right hand. Yes, while the poor weak body lies in mortal anguish, the spirit borne upwards by that mind of Christ, can enter heaven before its time, and rest “with the Son in the
glory of the Father,”-I know it, for I have seen it—and thus doth God “show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus." *
Prayer. O God, my Saviour, let each word of Thine be engraven on my
heart: let the mind that was in Thee be wrought out in me; so shall the glory of God be my first and last desire, the object of my life, and the subject that shall fill my thoughts in death. O my God, in every hour of sorrow may I be able to say, “Father, glorify thy name." Make me so truly
one with Christ” thy Son, that I shall be while yet on earth one with Thee,”-so may my last words be praise, for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Verses 29–32. “The people therefore that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, that an angel spake unto him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me.”
Many of those who followed Jesus from place to place, seem to have had no better motive than the feeling that prompts men to seek after what is new and wonderful. They cared not to be taught by Him; they never sought for the deep spiritual meaning of all his words; they understood not that He and the Almighty Father were one. When the voice of God spoke from heaven, struck by the unusual sound, they thought "it thundered ; so is it with the careless ones. They miss the solemn meaning of the signs of God's presence, they understand not when His voice is heard. But there were others standing by who gave earnest heed to all that passed; who, believing Jesus to be the Son of God, believed that he was in communion with the world of spirits, and they said that an angel spake unto them. This was nearer the truth, but it was not the truth ; man never can of himself find the truth, he may guess at it, but he must be taught by Christ. Jesus explained it to them. He told them that the voice came not because of Him, but for their sakes. He needed no new assurance that the Father was working with Him, but they had need of all the encouragement that could be given them to place their trust in Him as the Son of God: therefore, for their sakes the voice from heaven came, and the assurance that it gave was this, that in all wbich had been done, and in all which was still to do, God was glorifying His name. This is the blessed truth that has power to bear onward each child of God through trial and woe. To believe assuredly that all things are but working out God's great designs, is the only cure for anxiety, the only rest to the soul. Believing this, we may pass calmly on our way, straight onwards to our appointed end.
* Ephesians ii. 4—7.
Now, said the Saviour, now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. The moment in which our Lord was speaking, was a solemn time in the world's history. It was that point to which all the past from the very beginning had tended, from which all the future was to stretch forward to the end of time; for all that had been passing since the fall till that moment, had been bringing to light the event that now was rapidly approaching. How dreadful it is, to think that He, whose words are truth, should call Satan the prince of this world! This title shows us, how real was the victory he had gained over the weakness of the first man and the first woman. It shows us, that without God's interference, we, their children, never could have freed ourselves from Satan's power; well may we bless God who hath won for us the victory! From the beginning Satan had been condemned, and his prize, the world, was to be wrested from him. The judgment had gone forth against him in the very first day of his rebellion, and had ever since been carrying out. The time was come, and at the very moment in which Christ spake in the Temple, that secret which had been hid with God in Christ from the beginning, was rising up into the light. The first sign of it was the desire of the Greeks (who came to Philip,) to see Jesus. These were the forerunners of the Gentile nations. Fully He was now to be declared to the whole world, therefore, Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be judged." But what was to be the manner of Christ's victory? What was to be the standard raised that should draw the nations to the Conqueror's side ?
Verses 32, 33. “And I, (saith the Lord Jesus,) If I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die.”
Yes, it was by the cross, he was to win the crown; and when the cause of his death came to be understood, when men of every nation should believe that Jesus died that they might live, then no heart among them should be able to resist the mighty influence of his love,-and so has it ever been. The cross of Christ is the judgment of this world, never can it be otherwise. From every heart that loves the Lord who died for us, “the prince of this world is cast out."