Jesus Predicts His Death on the Cross

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.”

Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

29 Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

30 Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33 This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

34 The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

35 Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. — John 12:27-36.

As His Father testifies of His Son from heaven, Jesus reveals the significance of His death on the cross through which many will be drawn to Him. He tells people to walk in His light while He is with them, rather than in the darkness of ignorance.


Now my soul is troubled (v.27). — Jesus is greatly troubled by the prospect of bearing the wrath of His holy Father in the place of sinners. Yet He accepts His role and confirms His commitment to it.

Then a voice came from heaven (v.28). — In three places in the Gospel accounts the Father speaks directly from heaven about Jesus: at His baptism (Matthew 3:17), at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5), and here.

for your sake (v.30). — For the benefit of the disciples, the Father places His seal of approval upon Jesus’ saving work.

The people . . . heard it (v.29). — A situation similar to the circumstances of Paul’s conversion, where those who accompanied him heard a noise but could not distinguish the words (Acts 9:7; 22:9).

Now is the judgment of this world (v.31). — By His coming death, Jesus will end the power of sin over Adam’s race, judging and condemning it.

the ruler of this world. — Satan (cf. 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 1 John 4:4; 5:19). Satan has power in fact, not by right. When God destroys Satan’s power, He is not violating his rights, or breaking any agreement made with him.

lifted up (v.32). — This refers to the Crucifixion (v. 33), but also to the glorification of Christ. As Mediator, He will be “lifted up” to the right hand of God (3:14 note).

will draw all people. — The Cross exerts a universal attraction, and people of all nationalities, Gentiles as well as Jews, will be saved through it. “All” means all kinds of people without distinction, not all members of the human race without exception.

the Law (v.34). — One of the terms used for the whole Old Testament Scripture (10:34; 15:25). This is a possible reference to Psalm 89:36; 110:4; Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 37:25; Daniel 7:14; Micah 5:2.

the Son of Man. — They understood this title to be a claim to be the promised Messiah.

lifted up. — They understood this to be a reference to hanging or crucifixion, and on the basis of scriptures such as Psalm 89:36, 37 they could not reconcile Christ’s death with their view of the Messiah.

the light (v.35). — Jesus is the “light” (v. 46; 1:4–9; 8:12; 9:5). His impending death will bring a period of darkness.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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