“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” John 12:27-28, NIV
Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? - Sometimes we forget that Jesus experienced all the emotions that we do…and to their fullest depth. There is nothing that we can go through that Jesus cannot identify with personally. We have a High Priest who is moved to compassion by what we suffer.
What was it that troubled Jesus? At this point in His life He was looking ahead to the cross. Sometimes we think that it was the tremendous physical and mental suffering that horrified Him. Of course, no one wants to go through that, but Jesus set His face against it. Martyrs throughout the ages have faced painful deaths willing and sometimes cheerfully. Could the Master do any less? I think the answer lies somewhere else.
Jesus, as a sinless Man, had never known anything but perfect communion and fellowship with the Father - a relationship that we were all designed to have. Now, in facing the Cross, He knew that relationship was about to be broken. He was about to face what no living human being has ever faced - total separation from God. This is the real definition of Hell. We tend to emphasize the physical torments of Hell because physical pain is what we relate to the most, but ultimate suffering is spiritual - forever shut out of the presence of God. Jesus knew it was coming. It troubled Him. With God we can do all things, but without Him…
In addition, in that point in time when He was forsaken by the Father, when He stood alone - truly alone - for the first time in His life, would He falter? Even one sinful thought and humanity was doomed forever. One false accusation against the Father, one bite of bitterness, one cry of self pity, one word of resentfulness and we were all sealed to a dark destiny. But even with that, we are not the center. I think what played on the heart of Jesus was, would He fail to glorify the Father? Would He let the Father down?
‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. - Was Jesus to seek an escape from the Cross? He could. The Cross was the will of the Father, but it was also the choice of Jesus. He could have said, "No." There was nothing that He would gain on a personal level. He already had a perfect and completely satisfying relationship with the Father. What was to be gained was that we could also enter into that relationship. With purposeful deliberation He set aside His own wishes and set the will of the Father straight ahead.
Father, glorify your name!” - Jesus lived for one purpose: To glorify the Father. That is the meaning of life and the reason for living for all of us. Our one objective in everything we do, say and are should be to glorify the Father. Our greatest disappointment should be when we fail to reach the objective to the best of our ability. God is the focus and center of life… or we have no life.
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again. - The Father encouraged and strengthened Jesus. He confirmed that He was glorifying His Name through the life of Christ and that the ultimate glory would come through what looked like the darkest defeat. Jesus would be successful, the Father would be glorified. And because of Jesus, the Father is pleased with us and receives glory even from our imperfect lives and actions. Our obedience, following the ultimate obedience of Jesus, brings Him honour and brings reward to Jesus for all He went through on our behalf.