And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
In eternity there are no hours; yet there have been two hours in time which are drawn out over the length of eternal ages. One, pregnant of evil, when Eve plucked the forbidden fruit. When time shall be no more that unhappy hour will live in the memory and be felt in the misery of the lost. The other hour, pregnant with greatest good, was when the Son of Man said, "It is finished," and the head He bowed in death was crowned with its brightest glory.
I. THE VISIBLE GLORY OF THE CROSS. There never was a death like this.
1. Rays of Godhead streamed through the darkest stages of Christ's humiliation. Angels attended His humble birth, and a new star rested above the stable. His hands were rough with labour, but at their touch eyes received their sight. His voice cried in infancy and death, but it quelled the storm and burst the fetters of the tomb. His eye was quenched in darkness, but it had read man's heart and penetrated futurity. He wore no costly robes, but the hem of His garment cured inveterate disease. He trod on no luxurious carpets, but His step was on the sea. His simple drink was water, but water changed into wine at His bidding. No sumptuous banquets entertained His guests, but the few fishes and barley loaves in His hands satisfied multitudes.
2. But this glory was still more apparent in His dying hours. Men had left undone nothing to heap shame upon Him. To pour contempt on His kingly claims they crowned Him with thorns; in mockery of His omniscience they asked Him to tell who struck Him; in ridicule of His omnipotence they challenged Him to leave the cross. Yet even ix this dark hour He was glorified. "If these should hold their peace the stones would cry out," was now verified. Men were silent, dumb nature spoke. The rocks, whose bosoms, less hard than man's, were rent, cried out on earth; the sun, veiling his face from a scene on which man looked without emotion, cried out in heaven; the dead, disturbed in their graves by so great a crime, cried out from their open tombs; and' the temple's veil added its solemn testimony to theirs.
II. THE MORAL GLORY OF THE CROSS.
1. Christ's death afforded the fullest display of His love. Not that it had not been displayed before. It was when Moses smote the rock that its hidden treasures were unsealed. It was when the alabaster box was broken that its value became known. It is when the clusters of the grape are crushed that they yield the wine. And so Christ's gracious attributes were not fully disclosed till His dying hour. But for that it had never been known how He loved. He had been despised and rejected of men, but He died to prove His willingness and power to save the chief of sinners.
2. By His death He conquered hell, death, and the grave.
(T. Guthrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.