The Son of Man must die, to reign forever
The crowds in Jerusalem leading up to the Passover feast were huge. Josephus, writing of events 30 years later, described a crowd of 2.7 million people. The crowd around Jesus are coming to see Him enter Jerusalem. Like Maccabees nearly 200 years before, it’s a triumphal entry – so the palm branches used then, that have become a nationalistic symbol, were in use. But instead of coming on a war horse to overthrow the Roman state, He comes on a donkey – coming in peace as predicted by Zechariah 9:9.
The Pharisees note that their plans are not yet working – they were “gaining nothing”. Then they say “Look, the whole world has gone after him”. The next verse illustrates that, as some Greeks, representing the whole Gentile world, approach the disciples to meet with Jesus. Perhaps they have been drawn to Judaism by its simple theology and credibility over the pagan (many gods) religions around.
Their approach brings Jesus into sharp focus. He is, as John the Baptist prophesied in John 1:29, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The time is now!
Jesus is troubled, no doubt recoiling at the horror of the cross to come. But He is also resolute in what He has to do – “For this purpose …”. He is about to fulfil His destiny.
The audible voice of the Father comes to confirm. Jack Deere in “Surprised by the voice of God”, notes that the audible voice of God is rare and reserved for tasks that are a tough assignment, where the hearer needs to know that they know, that they know, that God has spoken.
The Jews are confused. How can the Messiah be lifted up, or die, if He is to eternally reign? Jesus doesn’t respond with a direct answer, but He has already taught that His kingdom is eternal and the life He offers is eternal life. The guilt of ages can’t be swept under the carpet, but must be drawn into the light and judged. The Son of Man must die, to reign forever.
So walk in the light and become a son/daughter of the light.