8:27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.

 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. 29 And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.”

30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

It seems wildly optimistic on the part of Jesus to think that those who have misunderstood everything he has said up to this point and who will play a role in bringing about his execution, will at the moment of his death, suddenly come to understand who he was:

“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he”.

What is important here is that Jesus believed there would be something in his death that would have the power to reveal to those who were willing to see, his true nature and his profound relationship to God.

What could it be in Jesus’ death on a cross that might help open the eyes of those who had refused to believe in him?

Is there anything I see when I look at the cross that supports my belief in the true nature of Jesus and the relationship he claimed to have with God?

The cross is a sign of pain, injustice and shame. Jesus had the opportunity, on a number of occasions, to avoid the cross.

In Matthew’s account of the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, one of Jesus’ followers draws a sword in a futile attempt to defend his teacher. Jesus says to him,

‘Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?’ (Matthew 26:52, 53)

No one took Jesus’ life from him. He had the power to refuse his death. The cross was an act of ultimate surrender in the midst of the pain, suffering and brokenness of life. Jesus refused to take the easy way out. It is this willing surrender that is the model of faith that affirms the true nature of who Jesus was and of his powerful relationship to God.

When I follow the path of Jesus to the cross and choose to let go of my demand that life should be different than it is, I come to see the divine Love manifest in Jesus. Surrender is the instrument that opens my heart to see the power of Love no matter how difficult and painful the present moment may be.

To what do I cling or seek to ignore that keeps me from knowing my true nature and discovering the depth of my relationship to God?