In John 12:32 Jesus says, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” I believe that there is a double meaning of lifted up in play here.
To be lifted up can be read as a description of the physical act of crucifixion, but it can also be read as a description of Jesus’ exaltation in His return to God.
Certainly, in the Grand Scheme of things, Jesus’ crucifixion & Jesus’ ascension back into heaven after the resurrection are of ultimate importance.
I would never try to minimize the significance of those lifting ups. Having said that, let’s think about lifting up in regard to our day-to-day lives in this world.
Lift – to hold up, support, display. I recall a time when people would substitute the word lift for the word ride: “Hey, if you’re driving into town this morning, I sure could use a lift.”
Can we remember sometimes in our lives when we needed a lift — physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually? And can we think of times when we were privileged to offer others a lift? Have we ever been lifted up in prayer? How much time do we spend lifting up others?
What are some of the things that give you a lift? For me, coffee is near the top of my list. Too much blood in my caffeine-stream is problematic. Time spent with my wife, Mickey, is always uplifting for me. And being with my Church folks lifts me up — something that I am missing right now in so many ways. Thankfully these folks are, for me, not “putter-downers” but “lifter-uppers.”
As we travel this Lenten Road, even as it winds through this current Twilight Zone, let us seek every opportunity to LIFT one another up. Sharing that cup of coffee together might have to wait. But praying for one another, and all others, is a right now kind of thing.
Grace and Peace!
Rev. Charles Robinson
Newnan First United Methodist Church