Weekly Update – 17th March


John 12  20 – 30

Have you ever worked to a deadline? Have you been working towards something, organising, creating, aiming for something that is important to you, your family, or your job? Do you feel the pressure of a target date that you must get to and successfully fulfil your goal, to get it done! (Whatever your “it” is?)

The processes of achieving could be likened to a journey, a journey towards actualisation of your goal! Deadlines are a part of our busy lives but do they motivate us or make life harder?

This Sunday is known as Passiontide Sunday, and it is the 5th Sunday in Lent and two Sundays before Easter Sunday. It’s a time when we begin our journey in earnest towards Holy week and our focus on the cross. For some it’s a relief as the end of Lent is in sight, well almost, just a little while longer before we can take back the things we gave up or conclude the things we took up for our Lent journey. For some we may even keep going after Lent is over as we’ve been blessed by the experience. For others, it’s the torturous final throws of chocolate fatigue or any other Lent induced deprivation! Either way you look at it, Passiontide signals the final part of the wait and Easter Sunday is the target that we aim for.

Jesus was on a journey to the cross. His whole life and purpose had been to get to this point and finish the work that he started. He had a deadline to meet, a time and a place to be and the time of His passion was fast approaching. It was time that salvation in Jesus was finally signed, sealed, and delivered for everyone.

In one of the passages for this Sunday, John 12 v 20 – 33, there is a distinct change of tone from Jesus in the way He is speaking about things. These verses have a sense of finality, and the mood is somewhat sombre. I tried to imagine myself as being in amongst the disciples and hearing Jesus speak of the things in this passage. “The hour has come” “Now my soul is troubled” “Now is the time for judgement”.  Oh Lord! This stuff is very scary. I would’ve been scared. The disciples had just been through the most exciting time of Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem. They really must’ve thought, here we are! We’ve arrived. Here’s Jesus, the King! But now here was Jesus saying things that must’ve put a damper on things for them and made them wonder what on earth is going on.

Jesus, however, was very focussed on His purpose. There were important things He needed to tell them and there must have been a sense that He was running out of time. The deadline He was working towards, the cross, was very near now. Note in verse 36, He leaves them and is hidden from the people and the disciples. He needed some God time, time away from his journey to just sit and be with God.

So, what do we learn from this? That Jesus knew the enormity of what He had come to do yet despite His Godliness, He still felt fear about it all, a sense of divine purpose that weighed heavily on His heart. He needed the reassurance of His God and Father.  We need to strive towards the purpose for which we have been called (Romans 8:28) and no matter how hard we are working, to always take time out to charge our spiritual batteries and be focused on the goal, the prize that faith in Jesus Christ is all about for those of us who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

There is just one more final deadline here, a tangible point of no return. There’s a day coming when it will be too late and there will be millions or even billions of souls who won’t get the message of the cross in time and it will be too late!  The deadline for eternity is set and whilst we don’t know the times or the dates, God says, don’t be left behind!


Have a blessful week.