Putting aside his human fears, Jesus embraces the necessity of his path and begins the journey of his passion. The voice from heaven echoes the voice heard at his baptism and transfiguration, suggesting that in this moment his deeper nature is being revealed.
When Jesus states, "Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of the world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself," he points to an impending transformation, not of the nature of things - which have always remained constant - but of an awareness of how the universe is truly ordered. Jesus is about to undergo a transformation, which is also the moment when the world, if it chooses, can come to know its true nature. This moment is his death on the cross.
This statement by Jesus is very dramatic and full of cosmic consequences. It's clear that John wants us to see it in this light. But I think there is a quieter more intimate reading of this passage as well. Jesus, by revealing his true nature makes known in human terms the path that leads away from worldly self-absorption towards a life lived in truth. He points us to the possibility of becoming truly children of God.
How do we get there? John's answer is to believe. For myself, I find that response circular and offering little practical guidance. But I do think the practice of lent points us repeatedly back to that internal place where we need to discover how to make ourselves open to a fundamental transformation of perception. This is the path of Jesus. We need to drive out the ruler of the world - however we understand that phrase - to open up space for a different reality to enter our hearts, our minds and our spirits.