"Who are you?" they demanded. Jesus replied, "The one I have always claimed to be. I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won't. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful." But they still didn't understand that he was talking about his Father. So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man on the cross, then you will understand that I AM he. I do nothing on my own but say only what the Father taught me."
— John 8:25-28 NLT
John uses a simple vocabulary to tell the story of Jesus in such a magnificent way. The term "lifted up" can mean to physically lift something up or it can mean to exalt. The latter use is more prominent in the New Testament and in common usage. For John, however, the two meanings converge. Jesus is exalted when he is lifted up on the cross. Even though a cross was normally a place of shame, in Jesus' case it was God's way of reaching the hearts of people. Jesus does what he does because it is the Father's way of reaching people. Unfortunately, so many miss the wonders of this sacrificial love. Yet for those of us who have been touched by this display of grace, it is God's power to cleanse and transform us.
For your wondrous love, O God, I praise and thank you. For your incredible sacrifice, Lord Jesus, I praise you for your obedience and your love. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- John 3:13-17
- John 12:23-33
- Matthew 27:54
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.