6 April 2020                                                                          St. Athanasius Lutheran Church

Holy Monday                                                                                                            Vienna, VA

 

Jesu Juva

 

Holy Monday Meditation

Text: John 12:1-23

 

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

 

His glory was not riding into Jerusalem to shouts of Hosanna, King of Israel! His glory was not that many Jews were believing in Him, nor that, as the Pharisees said, the whole world was going after Him. His glory was not in receiving one very expensive pedicure from Mary. All those are glories that we, perhaps, would like. But not Jesus. There is only one glory He has come for: the glory of the cross.

 

It is the request of the Greeks that signals for Jesus that the time for His crucifixion has come. Up until now, He has come for the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24). Israel had the patriarchs and prophets, they had the Tabernacle and the Temple, they had the priesthood and the sacrifices, they had the adoption and the glory (Romans 9:4) - they are the ones who should have been looking for Him and ready for Him. He was the one all these things pointed to! But Jesus knew that though they should have been, He came to His own, but His own received Him not (John 1:11). But in being lifted up from the earth, when He was lifted up on the cross, there He would draw all people to Himself (John 12:32). Jews and Greeks.

 

For His sacrifice would be for all people. He would bear all the sin of all people of all time. To save all. So when the Greeks come to see Him, see Him they will - on the cross. For that is where they must see Him. That is where we must see Him. For there is where He is not a good man, king, miracle worker, or rabbi, but Saviour.

 

So we must see His feet not beautifully and perfectly pedicured, but pierced with nails. We must smell not the beautiful aroma of the expensive ointment, but the stench of death. More important than our Hosannas are our mea culpas - our repentance. For in repenting, we are confessing the truth of who we are and who He is: the Saviour of sinners. The one lifted up from the world to save the world.

 

Judas complained about the waste of money in using this expensive ointment on Jesus. Three hundred denarii was a lot. But thirty pieces of silver was even more. In the end, Judas got neither. He learned the hard way . . . that what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul (Mark 8:36)?

 

But maybe Judas was right. After all, didn’t Mary waste such costly nard on feet that would soon be dead?

 

But that’s the point, isn’t it? The prophet Isaiah said,

 

How beautiful upon the mountains

    are the feet of him who brings good news,

who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,

    who publishes salvation,

    who says to Zion, “Your God reigns (Isaiah 52:7).

 

Dead feet are glorious feet when they’re Jesus’ feet. For they are nowhere more beautiful than when pierced with nails and attached to the cross. There is no better good news than that Jesus’ feet are there on the cross. Jesus on the cross is publishing peace and salvation. Yes, your God reigns - from the cross. For that is His throne. There is His grace. There is His forgiveness. There is His love. There is His glory.

 

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

 

Do you wish to see Jesus? See Him there. On the cross. For you.

 

In the Name of the Father, and of the (+) Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.