Glorify Thy Name
Text: John 12: 12-32
Proposition: The Triumphal entry of Christ glorified God as it glorified His name.
Introduction: There’s a thing that we do in all cultures and in all languages that is the same. It is so common that we almost don’t even think of the significance of it. For a parent it’s a privilege, for children an expression of preciousness, for organizations an expression of identity… what I’m talking about is that we name children and pets and corporations and sometimes even cars, trucks and various other things. Most of us in this room have probably named someone or something. Your name is not just a way of recognizing and making you distinct, separating you from everyone else, your name in a sense represents you. It is your reputation that is attached to your name. So do you think this is also true for God?
What do we do with verses like Psalm 29:2 “Give the Lord the glory due His name…”, or Psalm 63:4, “I will lift up my hands unto His name.”, or Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are saved.” Palm Sunday is all about the name of God, about His reputation and about what he intended to do that day and still intends to do in you today. Let’s look more closely at that… John 12:12-32.
I. It Was the Day When God Went Public About His Love For You.
The phrase ‘to go public’ is typically attached to the idea of a company offering its shares for sale the first time, the first time the public gets to participate in the company. When Jesus came into Jerusalem that day it was really the first time that He was doing so in a very public way. Up until this time when He healed people He had cautioned them to tell no one. Now, here in the sight of all Jerusalem at the point of the greatest feast of the calendar year He goes public before them. The crowds are here to see this Jesus who raised Lazarus from the dead, who healed so many, who fed thousands and now who came upon a humble donkey and was being heralded as King, as Messiah. In every one of the gospels it records what the crowds were shouting that day… “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes IN THE NAME of the LORD…”. It was a quote from Psalm 118:26, a Psalm that they regularly sung as they ascended on the path to worship in the Temple, a Psalm that proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. Palm Sunday was the day that God had chosen from before the creation of the world to go public with His name, to go public with His love for all mankind. It was meant to be very public, in fact when the Pharisees cautioned Jesus to quiet down the disciples He said that if necessary the rocks themselves would cry out (Luke 19:40). Indeed in John 12:19, the Pharisees felt like all eyes were on Jesus. So it was meant to be a very public moment, a moment that fulfilled prophecy, an event that testified to the character and purpose of God, an event that was done in the name of God. The name of God is not just what we call Him, it’s Who He is, what He does. Author John Piper said that the purposes of God are focused on two opposite things simultaneously:
1.The unswerving preservation of the glory of the holiness that He is.
2.The unswerving commitment to save, bless and exalt a people who sin.
These two purposes meet in the public presentation of the King, Jesus Christ, on Palm Sunday. It’s holiness reaching through sinfulness to accomplish redeeming love. It was the public presentation of Jesus Christ to die for sin that is being made this day, a presentation for Jew and for Gentile alike, a presentation underwritten by the love of God for you and I. It was the day that God went public with His love for you.
II. It Was the Day God Went Public About the Power of Christ.
Jesus had entered into Jerusalem, the crowds greatly excited. Then some Greek believers ask to see Jesus… Philip and Andrew approach Christ with their request. Isaiah 53:10 says, “When His soul shall make an offering for sin, He shall see His seed.” Jesus must have had this in view for He does not respond to the request, instead He responds to the hour that is at hand (vs23). What Jesus says next has everything to do with the power of Christ. It is the power to move into death and through death to create great life for many. This is what Jesus said to them that day… vs 24, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” What Jesus was saying was that He is that grain of wheat, He knew He would soon die, be put into the ground as it were, so that ‘much grain would be produced’. Let me point out just a couple of things about the power of Christ, things we need to know because this very power is at work here in this room this morning in you.
1. The power of Christ is predestined. Look at verse 24, it talks of the power of a seed, it falls to the ground and then dies and then bears much fruit. Now draw a line from this verse to the latter part of verse 27, where it says, “for this purpose I came to this hour.” The power of Christ was predestined by God to bear fruit through death. There is an aspect of your life in which you too are predestined to bear fruit through death, not your physical death but rather the death to self, the self preserving nature that resides in us. If that is put death I tell you, much fruit will be produced by the power of Christ at work in you.
2. The power of Christ is both Invitational and Motivational. Do you see verse 26, in the Greek it literally reads, “If Me serve anyone, let him follow and where am I there also servant My shall be. And if anyone Me serve, will honor him the Father.” In the first part the emphasis is upon ‘anyone’, it is invitational to all whom He calls and is an assurance that He precedes His servant that is obedient. If you follow Christ into a battle, He was there before you got there. His presence and thus power are with you in the struggle as you move in obedience. In the second part, the emphasis is upon the motivation of serving as the basis for the power of Christ to be manifested, or in the words used here, ‘will honor him the Father’. Your motivation must be to serve, to serve others and ultimately to serve Christ.
3. The power of Christ is Perfected Through Weakness. The humanity of Christ is seen in verse 27, “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.” He anguished over the struggle ahead. His soul struggles with what to say, yet He trusts that the Father will save Him out of the struggle, at the result of the struggle, at the resurrection. It was Christ’s trust in and dependence upon the Father that he had in view here. It’s what Jesus calls us to as well. It’s your trust in the Father that is greater than any short coming you might think you have. That short coming, whatever it is, has the purpose of bringing glory to God as He moves through you, in obedience that demonstrates a living trust in the father and in Christ.
III. Palm Sunday Was the Day God Went Public with Our Future.
When Jesus said, “Father glorify Thy name”, what He was saying was ‘Father reveal the truth of Who you are, Your name, as You move in this moment of the crucifixion, that all men would give you the honor that is due You.’ The response was that the Father had already revealed Himself in the Son, in miracles, at the Mount of transfiguration, in the very statements of the Son. God had glorified His name in the person of Jesus Christ. And not only had, but will again! What does this have reference to?
1. It refers to the justice of God, justice accomplished through Christ upon the cross against the transgression of sin. The words of Christ will judge the world. You have been justified, the ‘just’ live by faith.
2. It refers to the casting out of Satan, the one who made a play for the stealing of God’s glory. For this sin soaked angel the justice of God awaits.
3. It refers to when Christ would be lifted up, primarily to crucifixion but then resurrection, then ascension, then exaltation! The exalted Christ will come again, as the Father again glorifies His name in the Son. There will be a Palm Sunday part II, it’s all about your future with Him. It’s why He went public about you!
“For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me, until you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”