“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (John 17:4-5)
Scripture Reading – Luke 9:18-36
Throughout the pages of the Bible, we find the theme of God’s glory. Humanity’s rebellion against God was a rebellion to usurp God’s glory and position. From the beginning, the heavens have proclaimed the glory of God. Satan was cast out of heaven because He wanted to take God’s place (Isa.14:12-14). He didn’t want to be the creature who must submit to the Creator. And in the same way, Satan tempted Adam and Eve telling them to eat the forbidden fruit so that they would become like God. God overcame the wickedness of Satan and the sin of Adam and Eve in a way that resulted in even greater glory for God’s Name, and He deserves to be praised as a result.
The glory of God is an important theme in the Bible. God revealed His glory to Israel in the Exodus. Moses, who God raised up, prayed to God on Mount Sinai: “Show me your glory.” This glory filled the temple that Solomon built. As a result of Israel’s sin, this glory departed from the temple and the Jews were expelled from the land of Israel. However, God’s plan never fails. The glory of God once again appeared in Jesus Christ. The Apostle John wrote: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Jesus Christ is the glory of God in a physical body. He showed that glory to a few of His disciples when He peeled back the veil that covered that glory, “and he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matt. 17:2). And, Elijah and Moses spoke to Jesus about all that He would accomplish in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, Jesus would accomplish our salvation through His death. So we can see that God’s glory is directly connected to the work of salvation performed by Jesus in Jerusalem.
Salvation is God glorifying Himself by solving our greatest problem; we are sinners who can’t be in the presence of a holy God. When Isaiah found Himself in God’s throne room, the angels proclaimed: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isa. 6:3). Glory is holiness on display. As creatures, we should give the Creator the glory due His Name, but because of our sin, we can’t be in His holy presence. Praise God that the sin which separates us has now dealt with through Christ’s sacrifice, so we can be in His holy presence. In John 1:14, we just read that God’s glory is full of grace and truth. Without God’s grace, we could never glorify His Name. Without truth, our praise would be false worship. In Christ this problem is completely resolved. Only Jesus could pay our debt before God and allow us to worship in truth. That’s why Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Jesus completed the work of salvation by fulfilling the Father’s plan of salvation. The work is done! Jesus bore our sins in His body on the cross and His death, resurrection, and ascension have solved humanity’s greatest problem—sin and eternal separation from God. That’s why Jesus said from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). When Jesus ascended to heaven, He sat down again on His eternal throne, and returned to heaven to even greater glory. Jesus had taken the form of a lowly servant in order to pay our debt of sin. By surrendering Himself to the Father, He glorified the Father, and His return to heaven meant additional glory. He is the Lord Jesus Christ who, through His earthly life of obedience, is now worshipped throughout eternity. Are you giving glory to Jesus for redeeming us?