When the request “We’d like to see Jesus” came, His response was that the hour had finally come for the Son of Man to be glorified. He would be revealed and seen like no time previously. For 33 years, Mary had contemplated and treasured the activities concerning Christ and done by Christ. For three years, Jesus had ministered in public — He had taught, healed, confronted, corrected, prayed, and fed.
But for all those revelations of Christ (and in all those activities and words, He was revealed), nothing would reveal (glorify) Him like the event that was about to come — the cross. No where is Christ seen like He is seen at the cross.
Nothing is more fundamental for the joy of undeserving people than the cross of Christ. The fight for joy is a fight to grasp and marvel at what happened in the death of Christ — and what it reveals about our suffering Savior. If it were not for the death of Jesus in our place, the only possible joy would be the joy of delusion — like the joy on the Titanic just before it hit the iceberg. Without the cross, joy could be sustained only by denying (consciously or subconsciously) the inevitability of divine judgment. In fact, that’s the kind of joy that drives most of the world — a joy that preserves the power of its pleasures by being oblivious to the peril just ahead. If the passengers were suddenly made aware that in a matter of hours most of them would drown in the icy ocean, all their merrymaking would cease. Their joy depends on their ignorance. [John Piper]
Nothing is more important about Christ than the gospel. It is the most important truth we can proclaim to those who do not believe, and it is the most important truth that we live day by day. It is, as Paul says, “of first importance.”