(Today's post by Adam Cooper)
Jesus Cried Out…
When I first read through this and the verses before and after it I wondered what I could really say about it. When John wrote these words he knew they would be read by a culture that had been blind to the miracles and glory of Jesus in much the same way that they were blind to the glory of God for thousands of years. He references Isaiah in an effort to make a connection to these people; almost saying, “if you don’t believe me then maybe you will believe one of your great prophets.” The Jews had “not believed” so intently they wound up killing their own Messiah. John understands that he has quite an uphill battle to convince these Jews about the true being of Christ and for that reason he pens Christ’s words which clearly establishes a connection between Jesus and God. It is interesting that John is almost saying to the Jews that their disbelief is not their fault; he references Isaiah about them being blinded and I think John is clearly implying here that the Jews had been blinded by God so that His will would be accomplished in Christ’s death. Assuming this is what John is trying to imply to the original audience, what is the meaning of these verses to us?
In these verses I see God establishing the truth of Jesus in an almost jurist kind of way. First, He presents the evidence of what Jesus has done. He has presented this evidence (miracles)throughout the previous verses and chapters. Next, He establishes witnesses. Isaiah, one of the Jews respected prophets is listed first and it is indicated that there were many within the Jewish leadership that had believed in Jesus as well. Lastly, He presents Jesus’ own testimony. Verses 44-50 are amazing testimony from Jesus Himself that He is one with God. I believe something is added to this testimony that may go unnoticed at first glance but it has great meaning; “Jesus cried out.” We are not told that “Jesus said”; we are told that He cried out. When someone cries out it is from pain, or frustration, or bewilderment and I think these emotions speaks a great deal to the anguish Jesus felt during His final days and hours before His crucifixion. “LOOK AT ME AND YOU SEE GOD!” “BELIEVE IN ME AND BELIEVE IN GOD!” “REJECT ME AND REJECT GOD!” You almost want to add to this “WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS!”
As we interact with the world today, as we see culture turning and beginning to tear many away from walking with Christ it occurs to me that we should feel the same anguish that Christ did. We should be crying out to the lost instead of whispering. “LOOK AT JESUS, HE DIED FOR OUR SINS!” My prayer for you today is that you would be encouraged by the anguish and urgency of Christ, and that you would begin to seek the lost with urgency as well.