Wednesday, June 8, 2011

And I, If I Be Lifted Up (John 12:34)

By Gerald Cowan

Jesus stated His complete submission to the will of God, even though it meant death on the cross. He would not allow His disciples to prevent His death. To be "lifted up" indicates the kind of death He would die, but implies a great deal more.

There is a similar expression in John 3:14 where "lifted up" means "made visible" to others. But the symbolic lifting up was more in the mind of Jesus. He would be lifted up from death. It was His resurrection from death by the power of God that would attract others to Him. If He was raised from death will we be?

He was also lifted up from the earth at His ascension. His exaltation to the right hand of God, the place of authority and power, is attractive to men seeking to overcome oppressive forces in the world.

But to be really attractive to others, Jesus must be "lifted up" in the lives and examples of His own disciples, His followers - Christians. Those who are like Christ and who do what Christ would do are able to draw others to Him - He is able to draw others to Himself through them.

Here is a point worth noting: the Christ who has been lifted up has power to lift others up too, to exalt and glorify His people. Are you lifting Christ up so that He can glorify you and draw others to Himself through you?

- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola church of Christ in Dongola, IL. He may be contacted at

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