After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him’.
All the ages have longed for and anticipated this hour. This is the hour when the tide turns in God’s declared war on darkness and death. This hour is the hinge on which human history swings towards the Kingdom of God.
Throughout His ministry Jesus had to say “My hour has not yet come…My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4; 7:6-7, 30; 8:20). But now His hour has come. The pivotal hour, foretold from eternity, has at last come. The time has arrived for Jesus to lay down His life for the sins of the world. The time has arrived for Jesus to glorify His Father and give eternal life to all who will believe.
Yet, God’s Son, in His humanity, agonizes over this hour. Jesus told the people of His inner struggle and wrestling with the cross: “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say – ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name’“ (John 12:27-28). But at the same time Jesus also gladly welcomes this hour, as in it He will glorify His Father. “For the sake of the joy that was set before him, Jesus endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Hebrews 12:2).
In Old Testament times Moses asked God, “Show me your glory, I pray” (Exodus 33:18). In response to Moses’ prayer, the Lord caused His glory “to pass before Moses, proclaiming a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). In Biblical language, for God to be glorified means for God to visibly manifest or display His essence. It is for God to reveal to human eyes what He is really like. When God is glorified He makes known the perfections of His love and grace (John 1:14).
So in this sublime prayer, Jesus asks the Father that by enduring the cross, He will reveal the Father’s love for the world, thereby glorifying Him. By Jesus’ willing submission to the shame, bitter agony, and grief, the Father’s humble love is made known. God is glorified in His humility.
If you ever wonder what the heart of God is towards you, you need only look to the cross! There the heart of God, in all His radiant glory, is revealed. “God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
What are there in Jesus’ words today to know; to feel; to do?