Holy Week Devotional: Tuesday
Who is this Son of Man?
“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress” (Psalm 71:3).
READING: John 12:20–36
“Who is this Son of Man?” the crowd asked. “Didn’t we just lay down our cloaks to receive him? Weren’t we just celebrating his inauguration as Yahweh’s promised King? Doesn’t the song go, ‘…I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun? (Psalms 89:35)’ What does he mean the ‘Son of Man’ will be lifted up?”
Throughout the book of John, we encounter men and women trying to reconcile their understanding of the Scriptures with the Jesus who stood in front of them. It’s unclear if Nicodemus ever came to understand Jesus’s teaching on eternal life (John 3:1–21). The woman at the well didn’t accept Jesus’s take on worship until after He told her everything she had ever done (John 4:1–39). When Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life,” many of His disciples deserted Him (John 6:22–60). They couldn’t wrap their mind around what Jesus was saying. The same was true for this crowd of Jews and Gentiles in Jerusalem. In what world does triumph equal death? Why would God send the Messiah into the world to die?
The wisdom of God is not like the wisdom of man (1 Corinthians 1:18–25). The wisdom of man would’ve suggested that Jesus enter Jerusalem on a warhorse, not a donkey, to overthrow Caesar’s government. While the wisdom of man teaches us to pursue the joys of this life, the wisdom of God compels us to die to the pursuits of this life to receive the eternal joys of the next (John 12:25; 1 John 2:15–17).
God’s wisdom is countercultural. However, it is embedded in the very fabric of creation. Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). If Jesus hadn’t surrendered His life, He would not have become the firstborn of many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:29). He would’ve remained a single seed. But Jesus was the seed God promised would crush the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15). He was the seed through whom God purposed to bless all the nation of the earth (Genesis 12:1–3). And He is the seed of David, who on the day of judgment will ride in on His warhorse to defeat sin, death, and Satan forever (Revelations 22:16). In God’s world, the world He created, multiplication comes through death and triumph over death through the Son of Man’s crucifixion.
Q: In what ways have the circumstances of your life challenged your understanding of God and His Word?
Q. How has God brought life to you through hardship and suffering you’ve experienced?
O God, be the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
DISCIPLINE PRACTICE: Confession
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18–31 on your knees. Consider how Christ and His ways have been a stumbling block for you. Confess the ways you have clung to man’s wisdom and rejected God’s. After a time of confession, pray a prayer of repentance to God and ask for His help to live life the way He intended.
ADDITIONAL READING: Psalm 71:1–4; 1 Corinthians 1:18–31