Scripture: John 12:20-33
There were some Greeks in town who had come up to worship at the Feast. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee: “Sir, we want to see Jesus. Can you help us?”
Philip went and told Andrew. Andrew and Philip together told Jesus. Jesus answered, “Time’s up. The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.
“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.
“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”
A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”
The listening crowd said, “Thunder!”
Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death.
There is a play by Jean-Paul Sartre called "The Living Dead" that takes place during World War II in an attic in France. A half-dozen captured members of the Resistance are being held in this attic; abuse is rife as they wait for the next morning when they most certainly be executed. Unexpectedly though, the attic door swings open and the leader of the Resistance is thrown in the doorway by the Nazis: not because he is the leader, but because he was out past curfew.
The prisoners who are waiting to be executed are suddenly more courageous, and they tell the leader, "Don't worry. We will hold our tongues." The leader responds, "I thank you, for myself, for the Resistance, for France. Your courage and your sacrifice will not be forgotten."
However, directly after this stirring speech one of the other prisoners shouts, "Oh, shut up. Nothing you have to say could possibly mean anything to us. I am not blaming you... the fact is that you are a living man and I am a dead woman, and the living and the dead have nothing to say to each other... and that fact puts an impenetrable barrier between us."
As we move closer and closer to Jerusalem (and to the cross), it is hard not to feel squeamish about what we know will happen. He's not the leader of "The Resistance," but Jesus who resists the way of life as they knew it, and as we know it, continues to lead people in a resistance toward the systems of the world that only lead to death. How are we supposed to walk with him when that seemingly impenetrable barrier of knowing his fate, and knowing ours, stands between us?
Come walk with us on Sunday morning, as we walk with Jesus toward Jerusalem. We know that the barrier between us and Jesus, or between us and God is NOT impenetrable as it seems to this woman prisoner and the leader of the resistance. There is no barrier that separates us from God, and we walk toward Jerusalem so that we might learn that even more earnestly.
Won't you join us as we all, with Jesus, walk together?