Many in Christian circles, especially evangelical, have heard songs and sermons of praise to Jesus. We commonly hear the term “lift Him up” in songs and sermons. This is taken from the Bible verse where Jesus said that if He be lifted up, then He will draw all men unto Him.
The phrase “be lifted up” is often erroneously interpreted as praise. I’ve heard many pastors and worship leaders say that if we “lift Him up” (referring to praise) then He will draw all men to Him.
In other words, they say that if we praise Him, then others will come to Him.
Although this may be true to some extent, this is not the correct interpretation of the phrase. The scriptures make it clear: “be lifted up” refers to the torturous death of crucifixion – not praise.
John 12:32-34 (Jesus speaking):
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
Quick breakdown of this verse:
- Jesus said that He will be “lifted up”
- It says CLEARLY that this is referring to death. i.e. being lifted up on the cross.
- The people KNOW that Jesus is talking about His death, thus they are puzzled.
Next time you hear the phrase “lift Him up”, remember what is REALLY MEANS!