John 12:20-36


The cross is the central symbol of Christianity. It is a startling symbol when one realizes that the cross was an ugly tortuous means of execution. The Romans chose this method and used it as their way to punish criminals, runaway slaves and rebels.

What Kind of Symbol Is the Cross? vv. 20-28

“Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we would like to see Jesus.’22Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

23″Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

27″‘Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!’ Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.'”

1. The Cross symbolizes surrender . Luke 22:42

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

2. The Cross symbolizes sacrifice . John 15: 13

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

3. The Cross symbolizes victory . Galatians 6:14

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”


“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).


What Is Our Response to the Cross of Christ? vv. 29-36

“The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

30″Jesus said, ‘This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.’ 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

34″The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up”? Who is this “Son of Man”?’

35″Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. 36Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.’ When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

1. The surrender of our personal agendas . Galaians 2:20

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

2. The sacrifice of our time talent and treasure .

Philippians 2:8

“And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross!”


“Christ was not crucified in a cathedral between two candles, but on a cross between two thieves; on a hill, the town garbage heap; at the crossroads so cosmopolitan that they had to write His title in Hebrew and in Latin and in Greek. . .at the kind of place where cynics talk smut, and thieves curse, and soldiers gamble. . .that is where He died. And that is what He died about.”

George MacLeod