[glawr-ee, glohr-ee] noun, plural -ries, adjective, verb, -ried, -ry·ing, interjection
4. resplendent beauty or magnificence
Glory is essentially something at its greatest “magnificence.” A flower that has fully bloomed would be considered in its glory. A big, bright, full moon would be in its glory. The peak of autumn, when all the leaves have turned orange would be autumn in all its glory. This is one of several definitions for glory. But for this post, we will stick to the above mentioned definition. (Definition provided by Dictionary.com)
I want to take a look at the glory of God for a moment in an attempt to gain another perspective on it.
The Glory of God
When I think of glory, God’s glory, I tend to think of bright lights, the universe, heaven, singing angels, harps, galaxies, super novas. Stuff like that. Now, these things are certainly objects of God’s glory; the proof, if you will, of the power, strength, and magnificence of the Creator.
But I think there is something that displays all of God’s attributes all at once. The Sun can only display a limited amount of the attributes of God. That is, light, brilliance, and size. A tree can only display so much of God by its life giving, its shade, and its ability to be used to build a refuge (or a home). But there is something out there, something uncreated, that displays, expresses, and reveals all of God’s personality, character, and attributes.
The answer? Jesus Christ.
He is the full expression of God. A glance at Colossians Chapters 1-3 and John Chapter 1, and one will see my point. There is nothing else on earth that can display God’s power, love, mercy, patience, long-suffering, strength, or splendor better than Jesus Christ. I can’t, you can’t, and the universe can’t. Only Jesus can.
So, like a flower in bloom, like a full moon, like the growl of a lion, when God shows His fullest glory, He shows us His Son–Jesus Christ. The miracle that He actually came in to this earth nearly 2,000 years ago to suffer the pains of the cross, die, then be brought back to life three days later, is absolutely glorious! This brings me to my next point: the glory of Christ.
The Glory of Christ
So Jesus is, was, and will be the glory of God. So, what is the glory of Christ? When is He at His fullness? Well, I believe the answer is quite easy to find. Jesus wasn’t at His fullest when He was healing the sick. Nor was He when He walked on water; not while teaching, preaching, or washing the disciples feet. These are certainly wonderfully beautiful things that we can all experience, but it wasn’t His highest.
His highest, most magnificent, beautiful, glorious moment was Him on the cross. Not only the dying, but the resurrection. You see, because He was “in the likeness of human flesh,” He could only be in one place at one time. He still physically couldn’t live inside of humans because He was walking around in skin and bones.
Jesus said, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) He was saying many things in this particular parable. One of those is our daily “dyings” to self that produces the fruit. But He was also speaking of Himself. He was the grain of wheat that needed to fall into the earth and die to “bear much fruit.” Think of a seed falling into the dirt. It breaks open destroying the seed in order for the life that’s inside to penetrate the soil into the sunlight. Over time the plant grows and then produces many seeds. Well, the seed was Jesus in the tomb, the plant was Him coming back to life and breathing His holy life into mortal man. Man being dead due to sin and transgression now mad alive through grace and mercy and the power of God through Jesus Christ. Amen.
So, the cross is His highest moment. The cross is when Christ displayed, to the fullest, God’s main and most important attribute–love. Jesus was willing to lay down His life, His future on earth, His well-being, and even His right to food and shelter because of His love for His creation. How much more of a display of love and affection could there possibly be? The answer: none.
Death, whether physical or the daily “deaths” we face to ourselves, is the ultimate sign of true love. Show me someone who shows his/her love with actions and death, and I will show you someone who truly knows how to love. I’d take a mute friend displaying love with actions (death) whether than a friend that shows it with only words or even gifts.
Death to bring about life–that is the glory of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Well, I hope I have provoked some thought. What do you think? Agree? Disagree?