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"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth — will draw all men to Myself." John 12:32
As we read the gospel story we are surprised to see how few people were really drawn to Christ during His life. Crowds followed Him — many from curiosity — but very few were savingly drawn to Him in heart and life. We see at the last, how few; there was but a little handful of clinging friends about His cross.
It was not until He had made His great atoning sacrifice — had been "lifted up" on the cross — that all men began to be drawn to Him. Why was the influence of a crucified Jesus so much greater than that of a living, miracle-working Jesus?
For one reason, the death of Christ revealed the wonderful love of God. All of His sweet, gentle, helpful life told of love, too; but it was when He went to His cross that the full, rich glory of the Divine love was manifested. And love always draws. It is love which men need, and wherever they find it — they want to come and rest in its warmth and tenderness.
Another reason why Jesus drew most powerfully after He had be "lifted up," was because then the Divine Spirit was present to work on human hearts and lives. Without the drawing of the Spirit — none would ever come to Christ!
There was an old legend that when Jesus was dying a dove came and settled on His cross. It is only a legend; yet it suggests the truth that even after His precious blood had been poured out, men would not have come to Christ — had they not been drawn by the Holy Spirit.