I think one of the most overlooked passages in the gospels is Mark 1:2-3. It is an amazing passage of scripture. It quotes two Old Testament passages. First of all, it quotes Malachi 3:1 and then it quotes Isaiah 4:3. Here is Malachi 3:1,
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1 (NASB)
Now this is an interesting verse because the opening of the verse says, “Behold, I am going to send My messenger.” The one who is speaking is God. God is still speaking when we are told “he will clear the way before me.” The idea is that God’s messenger is going to prepare the way for who? Who is the “Me”? God! He is the one who’s speaking. Therefore, the messenger is God’s messenger. He’s going to clear the way before “Me”—that is God—and who’s the messenger? John the Baptist because Mark 1:2-3 says,
As it is written in Isaiah the Prophet, behold I send my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Mark 1:2-3 (NASB)
John The Baptist
Mark 1:1 is a prophecy from Isaiah 4:3 that John the Baptist would come and prepare the way. John the Baptist is God’s messenger. Who was John the Baptist going to prepare the way for? “Me”—God. Who is the “Me” in the Gospels? Who did John the Baptist prepare the way for in the Gospels? The answer is Jesus Christ. What does this reveal about Jesus Christ? He is God. Therefore Malachi 3:1 reveals that Jesus Christ is God. What an amazing, amazing prophecy.
In Isaiah 40:3 we are told,
A voice is calling,
“Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness;
Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.
Isaiah 40:3 (NASB)
In the gospels, the word “God” is changed to “Lord”—same idea though. Therefore in Mark, chapter 1, John the Baptist is the messenger or the forerunner to announce the coming of the Messiah, and the Messiah is Christ or God.
Jesus Christ Existed
Josephus was a Jewish historian and he refers to John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a real person. He also refers to Jesus. Jesus was a real person. The Jewish historian reports about John the Baptist and reports about Jesus as being real people. You would think that since Jesus Christ was the founder of Christianity He would not want to say that Jesus actually existed, or that Jesus did some of the things that He did—but Josephus does! Why? Because Josephus is a historian who writes history. In fact, other ancient writers such as a number of Roman emperors refer to Christ. Greek writers, Roman writers, some scientists, poets and satirists state that Jesus Christ actually existed and walked among us doing miracles and teaching. In fact, one of the notable writers was Pontius Pilate himself. He was the governor in Judea at the time and refers to Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist existed, and he came announcing that Christ was coming—God was coming, the Messiah was coming, and all that the people had to do was to believe. John announced the coming of the Christ. In John 1:19, we read that John the Baptist was asked who he was. The Jewish leaders of the time were trying to understand John the Baptist. And we are told in verse 19,
This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” John 1:19 (NASB)
People wanted to know who John was.
And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” John 1:20 (NASB)
In other words, John said, “I am not the Messiah.” He was just a man who was announcing the coming of the Messiah, the coming of the Christ. Then we are told,
They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” John 1:21-22 (NASB)
So they are trying to understand who is he? They wanted to know if he was Elijah? Was he a prophet? “Was he the Christ?” And he says no and no and no. Then he answered in verse 23.
I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, “MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,” as Isaiah the prophet said. John 1:23 (NASB)
Now, these questioners had been sent from the Pharisees. John 1:24-29 says,
Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:25-29 (NASB)
Christ Is Introduced
Now notice that John was not the Messiah. He was not the prophet nor Elijah. When he sees Jesus coming, I suspect he pointed his finger at Christ and said,
Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 (NASB)
I do not know for sure, but I think that is what he did. He continued,
This is He on behalf of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.” John 1:30 (NASB)
What does John say about Jesus? He said that He existed before John did. Now if you check out Luke 1 and 2 you will find that John the Baptist was born first into this world. He was born before Jesus, but here John says that Jesus existed before he did. This means Jesus existed before John did, even though Jesus was born after John. This reveals that John knew Jesus was God. John was not clueless. John understood exactly who He was.
Christ’s Eliminated Disease
In Matthew 4:12 we are told that Jesus started His ministry. In Matthew 4:23-25 Jesus started healing and He healed many people. People came from all over the region to be healed. Verse 23 says,
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. Large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan. Matthew 4:23-25 (NASB)
All those areas today span modern day Palestine. It is incredible what Jesus did. Jesus healed every kind of disease. One person has stated that Jesus eliminated every disease during His ministry in the land of Palestine. Anyone who was ill was healed. It is unbelievable what Jesus did. Jesus taught and healed.
In Mark 1:27-28 we are told this.
They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.” Immediately the news about Him spread everywhere into all the surrounding district of Galilee. Mark 1:27-28 (NASB)
The message from the Gospels is that Jesus taught and healed. His healing ministry authenticated His message. The crowd responded with the statement, “A new teaching and with authority!” Not only was He a teacher, but He gave evidence to the fact that He spoke with authority. There was a reason to believe His words. He was not just some average man standing on the corner preaching. He gave them a reason to believe. It is unbelievable what Jesus did.
Christ Claimed To Be God
In John 6:33-42, we find that Jesus told people that He had come down from Heaven. In fact in John 6 and 7, Jesus repeatedly told people that He came down from Heaven. He repeated the message again and again. He was not just born and claimed to have come down out of Heaven. Now that is important. But He also claimed that He was going back. Now you cannot do that but He could and did. He claimed to be God and proved it.
In John 8:24 we read this,
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24 (NASB)
Now Jesus is talking to the Jews. Notice that He said, unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. In some of your Bibles you will find two words that say “He is.” The two words are in italics. That means they are not in the original Greek text. A number of other Bibles do not even italicize the “He is.” But the Greek text reveals that Jesus said He was the “I AM that I AM.” That is what God told Moses in Exodus 3, when God was declaring that He was and is the great I AM. This means Jesus told the crowd, “I am the great I Am.” And then in John 8:58 we are told that Jesus said to them,
Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am. John 8:58 (NASB)
Now is very clear. Jesus was saying, “before Abraham was born, I existed.” What Jesus was claiming was that he was eternal. Jesus said, “I am deity” and the Jews understood that.
Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. John 8:59 (NASB)
Now this is not the first time Jesus claimed to be God. In John 10:32-33 we are told that Jesus answered the Pharisees with these words,
Jesus answered them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?” The Jews answered Him, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” John 10:32-33 (NASB)
What did the Jews understand Jesus was claiming? They understood that He claimed to be God. It is amazing to realize how many times in the gospels Jesus communicated that He was God. He repeatedly made that claim. The prophecies of ancient times taught that He would be God. In John 5:26 Jesus made the point that He was self-existing. He sustains Himself. He is eternal. Then in John 5:18, the Jews understood that He claimed to be equal with God. Jesus repeatedly explained His miracles proved He was God. Everything pointed to the fact that He was God.
Feeding 5,000 People
When we come to John 6, Jesus performs the incredible miracle of feeding 5,000 men. Then we are told there are also children and women. That suggests besides the 5,000 men there are women and children that should be added to that number. More than likely there are more than two children per parent. Some have guesstimated that maybe there were 20,000 or maybe 25,000 people total. We are also told in the gospels Jesus is teaching these folks. Evening evening arrives they need something to eat. Therefore, Jesus suggests that the disciples give them something to eat.
The disciples struggle with this idea because they do not have enough money to feed 20,000-25,000 people. This is a problem! In addition, they cannot go to a local village, because more than likely the local villages cannot feed 20,000-25,000 people either. One of the disciples says, “We have found five loaves of bread and two fish.” Now you can imagine that the disciple who is telling Jesus about the five loaves of bread and the two fish was probably thinking, “Well, this is nice, it will feed maybe a couple of people.” He was probably thinking this is not going to feed everyone.
Then Jesus tells them to have people sit down in groups of fifty and one hundred. Then he starts breaking the bread and the fish. Do you know what he does? He creates food. Jesus creates food. Jesus—if you want to put it this way—created dinner. He was the cook—only he did it by breaking it up, and fed everyone.
After everyone had eaten, there were twelve baskets of bread left. It is incredible to think about how much food was left. Not only did he feed 20,000-25,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish, but after everyone was finished eating, there were twelve baskets of bread left! That is incredible too. He performed a miracle upon miracle upon miracle. What else should we expect from God? Only God could do that.
Next, in John 6:15 we are told the people are so impressed that they want to make Him their king.
So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone. John 6:15 (NASB)
But Jesus withdraws to a mountain. Now why did they want to make Him king? We find the answer in verse 26.
Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. John 6:26 (NASB)
This is an amazing statement. Jesus reveals the reason they wanted to make Him king, and the reason is they had their stomachs filled. Because their stomachs were filled, because they were satisfied, because Jesus could do something for them, they want Him to be their king. One would have thought that the miracle alone would have drawn them to Him. They were not drawn to Him because of who He was. They were drawn to Him because they wanted something from Him. They wanted their stomachs filled. I am afraid that there are people who come to Jesus because they want something from Jesus. Some people become Christians thinking that God will solve their marriage or finances. Some people come to Jesus thinking that God will fix whatever. There are many different reasons people come to Christ. I knew a man who came to God because he thought that if he became a Christian, God would make him wealthy. That was the reason he came. Jesus says, “Wait a minute, there is a problem here.” If you sought after Jesus because you want something in your stomach, in your pocket, your home fixed, or whatever it is, there is a problem. If you seek Jesus you must come to Him because of who He is. In other words, the reason we come to Christ is not for what we can obtain from Him, but because of who He is. The message is Jesus did an incredible miracle, and the miracle was supposed to draw them to Him. That was what the miracle was supposed to do. I should add quickly that the miracle of feeding 5,000 is the only miracle that appears in all four Gospels. That tells us that the Gospel writers considered this to be one of the greatest miracles Jesus performed.
Lazarus Is Extremely Sick
The next great miracle was the raising of Lazarus. Remember Lazarus? He died. John 11:1 says,
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany . . . John 11:1 (NASB)
If you are wondering where Bethany was, Bethany was about two miles east of Jerusalem. The temple was located in Jerusalem which was on Mount Zion. Bethany was about two miles away from Jerusalem, on the other side of the Mount of Olives. Bethany was located in a valley between two mountains. That is, where Jesus met Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha. In this verse we are told that Lazarus is sick. Verse 2 identifies the various people who are living in the home.
It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. John 11:2 (NASB)
So Lazarus has two sisters: they are Mary and Martha and they send word to Jesus that Lazarus is sick. This is urgent news.
So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” John 11:3 (NASB)
But notice Jesus’ wonderful response. We discover that Jesus loved Lazarus. This tells us that Jesus loved this sick man. He had compassion for him. In verse 4 Jesus reveals that Lazarus’ illness has a purpose and that he is not dead yet. Therefore, we will discover that Jesus delays going to him until he dies.
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God . . . John 11:4a (NASB)
Have you ever wondered if somebody can be sick for the glory of God? Here is proof. The reason that some of us are sick is so that we can give glory to God. That may be the only reason.
. . . so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. John 11:4b-6 (NASB)
Now some have said, “He should not have done delayed going to Lazarus. This shows that He really did not love the man.” But that is contrary to what verse 3 just said. Verse 3 just told us that he did love Lazarus. Yet, He waits two days and then moves toward Bethany. But the disciples are concerned.
The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” John 11:8 (NASB)
The disciples cannot believe He is going to go back to Jerusalem. The reason they cannot believe He is doing this is because they have heard the Pharisees want to kill Him. The Gospels tell us the Pharisees were envious of Him. They were jealous. Therefore, they wanted to kill Him. Then Jesus made the spiritual point that he came to do the Father’s will.
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” John 11:9-10 (NASB)
Lazarus Is Raised
As long as we walk in the light of the Father’s will we will not stumble.
This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” John 11:11-12 (NASB)
Then Jesus spoke of His coming death, but they thought Jesus was actually saying Lazarus was literally sleeping.
Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead . . . John 11:13-14 (NASB)
Jesus was speaking figuratively and they did not understand. So Jesus says, “Hey, well look, Lazarus is dead.”
. . . and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” John 11:15 (NASB)
Now I want you to notice why Jesus decided to wait two days. Now He is going to go to Bethany and raise Lazarus from the dead. Why does He do this now? So that they would believe and we will believe. So that we will recognize that He is God and believe in Him. Verse 16 shows the heart attitude of the disciples.
Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.” John 11:16 (NASB)
They were committed disciples. They said, “Okay, if Jesus is going to die, then we go along with Him. We will all die together.”
Now jump down to verse 38. Jesus is now in Bethany and at Lazarus’ tomb.
So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench . . . John 11:38-39a (NASB)
Notice that Lazarus stinks. Why? The rest of verse 39 gives us the reasons,
For he had been dead for four days. Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. John 11:39b-44a (NASB)
That is amazing! Lazarus returns to life. That is a miracle! Think about this: Lazarus is bound in wrappings and he comes bouncing out of the tomb. That is another miracle! It is amazing to think about all the miracles that are happening, one after the other.
Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done . . . John 11:44b-45a (NASB)
Some Believed—Others Did Not
Why did Jesus wait two days to come to Lazarus? The end of verse 45 tells us,
—believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done. John 11:45a-46 (NASB)
Some believed and others went to the Pharisees to tell them about Jesus’ incredible miracle. Mary believed. The disciples believed and others believed because they saw the miracles. It was a tremendous moment.
Now, some of us might become a little excited about the fact that a few individuals went to the Pharisees. But do not get excited because this is part of God’s plan. It is necessary so that Jesus would die on the cross.
In John 11:47-53 we are told that the religious leaders got together. They were angry and jealous. They were furious as a result of the report. In verse 47 we are told that the Sanhedrin Council asked, “What are we going to do with this man?” They are worried because this man is performing so many signs. He did so many miracles. He did signs and wonders and they are asking, “What are we going to do about this man?” We will discover later that everyone will turn against Him. He is a major problem for the religious leaders: they are losing their power and influence. Because of that, they planned to murder Him. Verse 53 gives us their plan,
So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. John 11:53 (NASB)
And in verse 57 we are told,
Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he was to report it, so that they might seize Him. John 11:57 (NASB)
They want the people to tell them where Jesus is so they can seize Him and then they hope to kill Him—that’s the plan. Unbelievable intrigue! There is not a mystery novel better than this. This is incredible!
The Triumphal Entry
In John 12:1 we are told that it is six days before the Passover. The Passover will occur on Friday, when Jesus will die on the cross.
Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. John 12:1 (NASB)
Between verse 47 and verse 57 we are told Jesus left Perea, a region north of Jerusalem, and had come to Bethany. Now we are going to find that Jesus gets on a donkey and leaves Bethany. He travels past Bethphage and goes all the way to the temple in Jerusalem. This is when the triumphal entry occurs. We are going to read about people throwing their coats on the ground and praising Christ all along the route from Bethany to Bethphage and onto to Jerusalem, past the Mount of Olives.
In verses 9 through 11, people were coming to Jesus because they heard He raised Lazarus from the dead. We are also told that the Pharisees want to not only murder Jesus, but they want to murder Lazarus as well.
People are drawn because of the miracle of Lazarus. We are told at the end of verse 11 that on account of Lazarus, many of the Jews were leaving after believing in Jesus. Verse 12 begins with the next day after the Sanhedrin Council decided to murder Christ and Lazarus.
On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel.” John 12:12-13 (NASB)
We are told that a large crowd had come for the feast. And you ask, “What feast?” It is the Passover feast (John 12:1). Historical records tell us that typically about a million people came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover—a massive number of people. The people had heard that Lazarus had been raised from the dead, and they want to see Jesus. They want to see the man who was once dead. Then in verse 13 we are told they are shouting, “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the king of Israel!” That is a quote from Psalms 118:25. Now you might say, “What does ‘Hosanna’ mean?” Hosanna simply means, “save now.”
Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEY’S COLT.” John 12:14-15 (NASB)
Zechariah 9:9 gives us the full prophetic quote. It says,
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9 (NASB)
The prophecy in Zechariah was written almost 500 years before this event, the Triumphal Entry. The Triumphal Entry is a fulfillment of the prophesy.
Now back to John 12:16. It says,
These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him. John 12:16 (NASB)
This verse tells us the disciples did not understand what was happening.
Christ Honored As King
It is important to understand that while disciples were experiencing the crowds hailing Jesus as the coming king, they did not understand the connection to Zechariah 9:9. Remember that after the feeding of the 5,000, the people wanted to make Jesus king and then Jesus said they had the wrong reason. Here, the crowd is announcing that He is king, and Christ accepts their praise. Why? Because this is the right reason. The right time has come! In Romans 5:6 we are told that it was the right time for Christ to die on Friday.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6 (NASB)
So the people are responding, shouting hosanna, shouting that He is the coming king, and He accepts it. The people who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb continued to tell others about Him.
So the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead, continued to testify about Him. For this reason also the people went and met Him, because they heard that He had performed this sign. John 12:17-18 (NASB)
The Triumphal Entry is the response of the people to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Sadly, they will call for His death in five days along with the Pharisees who hate Him.
So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.” John 12:19 (NASB)
While Pharisees want to put Him to death, the massive crowds are hailing Him as king. Rather than being convicted by the celebrating crowds, rather than responding to Jesus because of the miracles, the Pharisees are saying, “Look, the crowds have gone after Him.”
How We Should Respond
What did we discover? We have discovered that people believed because of the miracles. If we look at John 21:24, we find that John says,
. . . these things, and we know that his testimony is true. John 21:24 (NASB)
What was written? The events presented in the gospel of John. Throughout this book we are told repeatedly that He is God. He was the one the prophecies spoke about. We find in Deuteronomy 18:21-22 God states prophecies are proof that He is the one who speaks. The Triumphal entry is a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 and Psalms 118:25. There are also historical accounts that say Jesus did miracles. Therefore, what is the logical response for us? The logical response is to believe that Christ is our God. He came to die on a cross. The disciples did not understand the reason for the trip to Bethany and then to Jerusalem. They did not understand why Jesus let Lazarus die. They did not understand that the resurrection of Lazarus would result in the Triumphal Entry which would motivate the Pharisees to murder Christ on Friday. He was going to die in five days. That was yet in the future.
And you might ask, “What does it mean to believe in Christ?” The answer is believing means to believe that Jesus is God and He is our King. That was the point of the Triumphal Entry. You must accept that truth about Jesus. In John 12:24 we are told that some Greeks wanted to speak with Jesus. They asked Philip if they could speak with Jesus. Now notice Jesus’ reply to Philip.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone . . . John 12:24a (NASB)
Jesus ignores Philip’s question and gives him an unexpected reply. Jesus told Philip that if a grain does not fall to the ground and die, nothing will happen. Then Jesus added that if the seed dies it produces much fruit. He was speaking of His coming death on Friday.
. . . but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24b (NASB)
Because when He died on the cross, He made it possible for our sins to be forgiven. Those who believe in Him will have their sins forgiven. That was the fruit He referred to. The Triumphal Entry was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and motivated the religious leaders to put Him to death. He was the seed that died and produced the fruit of saved spirits. Then Jesus made an important statement in verse 25.
He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. John 12:25 (NASB)
Here He says you have two choices: You can love your life, or you can hate your life. Now most of us do not like the idea of hating yourselves. But Jesus is making a spiritual point. The point He made was that if you hate your life and give it to Christ, then you gain eternal life. Then He reinforces His point that hating yourself means you give yourself to Him–to Christ.
If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26 (NASB)
Jesus’ point is that you must do something or when you die you go to hell because you are sinning and have not asked Christ to forgive your sins. That is the message of Romans 3:23 and 6:23. The only way to escape hell and go to heaven is to realize that Christ did everything necessary for you to have your sins forgiven. There is nothing more that you must do. You do not need to work. In fact, if you try to do good works to go to heaven, you send yourself to hell. If you truly believe Christ will forgive your sins and ask Him to forgive you, then your faith will be accompanied by repentance and submission to Him.
. . . for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” Romans 10:9-11 (NASB)
I urge you to ask God to forgive your sins.