Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
The Christian life is full of seeming contradictions. John 12:20-33 draws our attention to this paradoxical kind of life. When the Greeks want to see Jesus, his response suggests that they want to see a mighty and regal figure. Jesus says, in essence, he is going to be glorified, but that his glory won't match their expectations.
He takes up his place of glory through laying down his life. Like a seed being planted, he is cast to the ground and trampled on. But this matches Jesus' view of the victorious Christian life. In verse 25, the one who loves his life will lose it. The one who doesn't love his life gets to keep it forever! Jesus pulls his disciples into a world in which the glorious one is humble, the humble is exalted, and the one who guards his life and possessions might just lose them!
In verse 27, as Jesus approaches his time of glory, he is troubled. Yet he doesn't ask the Father to rescue him from the trouble to come. Instead, he affirms that, for your sake and my sake, he is willing to be laid low.
When Jesus is lifted up (on a cross to be killed), he draws all people to himself. His death intends to exalt all who believe on him. We, then, can lay our lives down and be exalted with him. We give our lives away and receive his matchless gifts.
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