Daily Light from the Lighthouse
"Even so must the Son of Man be lifted up."
When we speak of being lifted up, we think of it as a glorious thing. It is the athlete who hits the game winning shot or kicks the winning field goal that is lifted up and carried away on his teammate's shoulders. The gold medalist in the Olympics is lifted up on a platform that is higher than the rest. The throne of a king is lifted up on a pedestal to pronounce his position of exaltation. Therefore, being lifted up has become a glorious and even desired position.
Consider, however, what Jesus meant by being lifted up. Yes, Christ is most definitely to be exalted. Throughout Scripture we see that He is worthy of praise; He is our glorious God and Lord. As the King of kings and Lord of lords His throne is high above all that would exalt themselves. He needs no man to lift up Him on their shoulders or place Him on a pedestal to prove His glory. He is the Almighty Creator by which all things have their being. So what does it mean that Christ must be lifted up?
Jesus came to this earth and took on humanity without giving up His divinity knowing that there would be a day that He would be raised up in shame for the entire world to see and that on that day He would take upon Himself the sins of the world. The cross was not about being lifted up so that Christ might receive glory, but it was truly about the fact that He would be lifted up to receive shame. Sin has no glory in it; it is vile and utterly detestable to God. As depraved individuals we glorify sin and laugh at its horrors, but it is exactly those sins for which Jesus died. He chose for your sake and for mine to be lifted up in shame to this world so that He might receive the glory of the Father through resurrection. Praise God that He took upon Himself the payment of sin so that you and I might go free by grace through faith in His name!
You and I may very well have to face a lifting up that is not too pleasing. Jesus said that we are to take up our own cross and die daily. We must be confronted by our own humanity and our own need on a regular basis. Jesus told His disciples early in their ministry that they would be blessed only when they become poor in spirit, meek, and mournful. These characteristics seem like those of a weak person, but to God they are absolutely necessary to the life that would live out and lift up Jesus Christ. It is only when we are humbled and brought low before a holy God and this world that we can lift up the Son of Man. Paul stated it as fact that a true believer is crucified with Christ and has only Christ as his source of life.
May you in humility lift up Christ today!