Just before His crucifixion, Jesus prays what is probably known as the greatest prayer in the Bible. John 17 can be divided into three distinct sections. In the first section, 17:1-5, Jesus prays to the Father for Himself. He asks that His death bring glory to the Father. In the second section, verses 6-17, He prays for the disciples, asking that God keep them. In the third section, verses 20-26, He prays for all believers that they may be one.
It’s amazing to me that Jesus is looking for God’s glory to be manifest in– of all places — a Roman cross, in the midst of a crucifixion. The word “glorify” caught my attention in this reading and I looked it up. The Greek word is “doxazo” which means “show honor” or “reveal the wonderful character of something or someone.”
We know that Jesus’ life exemplified glorifying the Father. But, have you ever contemplated glorifying God in your death? Jesus died voluntarily, submitting Himself to the degradation of the whipping post and the cross. He didn’t deserve it, but He did it. Jesus’ death took guts! You see He knew it wasn’t only He had to live well, but He had to die well!
The philosopher, William James said that the value of life is computed not by its duration, but by its donation. (Thank you to my husband and his love for famous quotes!) It’s normal to think that if Jesus’ relatively short life had continued to a normal length, He could have done more and more miracles, more amazing acts. But, Jesus’ ultimate donation was surrendering His life to purchase our salvation. His donation just keeps on giving and giving as more find salvation at the foot of that Roman cross.
Just maybe the real harvest of our life is after our life is over. We can continue to bear fruit long after our life is over. God should get glory from our life and our death. Shouldn’t that be our main concern in life, making sure that God be glorified in our every day on earth and in our death? So, it’s not how long we live, but how we live and how we die that matters.
Remember, NO GUTS – NO GLORY!