In John 12:28, Jesus prays to the Father with his overarching disposition of his entire ministry–Father, glorify your name. With the exaltation of the Father in front of him, he pressed on in obedience to the Father all the way through death. Keep in mind that this is not just a lofty disposition that the Son of God must have. No, this is for every Christian and is exemplified by the Apostle Paul in Php. 1:18…Yes, and I will rejoice, 19 for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
How do we put the glory of God ahead of everything else so that Christ is exalted in our lives? Jesus already answered that up in v.25 of ch.12—in comparison to all other allegiances, one’s love for Christ will make one’s disposition towards everything else look like hate. What this means is that doing the will of Christ will conquer any other desires, no matter if that is related to relationships, pursuits or positions. Living out what Christ commanded must be the superior driving force in one’s life over anything else. Consequently, pleasing Christ must be a much higher ambition than pleasing people.
All this is what the Apostle Paul means in the following verse in Php. 1:21, when he writes for to me, to live is Christ…But how about in death? Paul says his hope is that Christ would be exalted, not only in his life, but also in his death. How is Christ to be exalted in our death? The Apostle also answers that in the next verse—21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
This is clearly related to one’s view of life, for if one loves his or her life in this world, then there’s no way that one could view death as gain. But if Christ is the central focus of one’s life and one just wants to glorify God, then what better way to do that then to be ushered into his presence with a glorified body by which to do it perfectly.