When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
It is in the humiliation of the cross that Jesus will be glorified. Jesus will be enthroned on the cross and he will be lifted up as the cure for all mankind. In this paradoxical reality what looks horrific is actually beautiful because of what it accomplishes. Jesus’ self-sacrificial love is beautiful. It is also at the same time horrific. Somehow the grandeur of the task is related to its horror.
Our images of glory are often clean and opulent. We see a hero glorified and we expect fanfare and shouts of joy and wonder. Jesus dies alone and surrounded by mockers. God’s glory works in ways that we can’t anticipate.
My wife seeks to glorify God today, but she has been weakened by a series of mistakes that any one of us could have made. She is writing a devotional for a women’s group. However, her own competency comes into question when she turned off the alarm making me late for work. She got the kids to school in such a mad rush that she had to drop off her daughter and then go and buy a couple of things that she had forgotten. She is reminded that if anything good comes together for the devotional, it is not because of her own competence, but God will be glorified through the abundance of his grace.
I missed my train this morning. I then jumped in the car. There was an accident on the tollway. I was late for class. I had to cancel class. I couldn’t reach the desk to let the students know. When I arrived, my boss told me that he is coming to observe my next class. I am aware that I have no control over life’s ups and downs. However, I am also aware that if my 11 o’clock class goes well the glory goes to God. He will work in spite of my weakness. If the class goes poorly, it is just my own shortcomings and the justice of the world.
In the cross and in each of our lives, God’s mercy triumphs over judgment. In the resurrection God’s grace is lavished upon us as we all get to live. Jesus’ glory plays out in every generation. We can trust in him and walk into all that he has purchased for us. Even if he purchased it by enduring the shame of the cross.
Father, I know that you work in ways that we don’t understand. At first glance your son’s death looks like you just stood by and allowed your Son to be murdered. However, you stood by and allowed him to take on a debt that none of us could repay. You allowed him to defeat sin in creation. I pray that sin and shortcoming would be overcome in each of our lives and that your glory would be shown in our weakness. Your wisdom would shine through our feeble minds. Your words would come from our unworthy mouths. Your truth would challenge those whose lives we touch and bring the world to you.
- What are synonyms for ‘glory’?
- How is Jesus to be glorified?
- Why would this series of events be a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles?
- In what ways does Jesus reveal his glory to you?
- How is God glorified in your weakness?