It is only a matter of days before his death, and Jesus knows it. Some Gentiles are in Jerusalem, and it’s significant that at this stage of the story the Gentiles are the focus. With the crucifixion and resurrection at hand, it’s one way to show that his death and resurrection will be for all humankind, not just for the Jews.
Jesus talks about the upcoming torture and execution in remarkably hopeful terms: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” There is hope and light even in this dark hour. For Jesus, glory and suffering are clearly linked. Glory doesn’t come after suffering, but through it. The cross becomes the throne from which Christ rules the world. “Life can only come through death. We all know how seeds work. A single seed, the ‘dead’ kernel, placed in the ground, is how new life is born. Just as it will be with me, as I die and rise again, so also with you, both in life and in death.” If you die to yourself now, you can find your life in Jesus now; so also when you die at the end of your life, you will be raised to new life as Jesus has been.
Jesus contemplates his impending crucifixion, and he says to his disciples, “Don’t think that I’m going to beg God to cancel this plan. Fulfilling this plan is the whole reason I came to earth.”
A voice of affirmation and confirmation is heard from heaven: “I have glorified your name, Jesus, and I will continue to glorify it.”
Jesus now explains to the people around him, “It’s time for the power of sin to be undone, and for the power of death to be conquered. My death on the cross is the way that people will be united with God.”
The people in the crowd were curious. “The Old Testament says that when the Messiah comes, he’ll be here forever. How can you talk about the Christ being killed? Who is this guy?”
Jesus replied, “The Light is only going to be with you for a short time longer. It’s best if you recognize him here and now, and put your trust there. It’s your only chance of heaven.