Summary: God's Glory is revealed in Christ, in the Cross, and in us.
“The GOD-GLORIFIED GOSPEL”
Jesus spends his last hours before His suffering, giving His disciples masterful last minute instructions. As they are celebrating the Passover in the Upper Room, Jesus identifies His betrayer in John 13:25: “Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" 26 Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, 28 but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. 31 When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. (immediately, right now.)
Here we have a most extraordinary example of the ONENESS in Deity of the Father and the Son: Jesus is glorified, God is glorified in Him, God WILL glorify the Son in Him, and will do it NOW! HOW WILL God DO THIS? God in the FLESH will die on the cross to absorb the penalty for sin upon Himself, instead of applying it to you and me, His substitutionary atonement! That’s the Best News in all of the Universe. It is the message of the Gospel of God’s Grace to sinners condemned to an eternity of God’s wrath: God being glorified in the humiliation of Christ on the Cross to rescue sinners. They are unable to rescue themselves and He saves them.
What does it mean that God and the Son are “GLORIFIED”? To “glorify” is to impart “glory”, so what is “Glory”? Ex. 15:11 speaks of God’s Glory: “Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? Listen to the definition of “glory” (“doxa” GR): “opinion, estimate, a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, splendour, brightness, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace, majesty, a thing belonging to God, the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, absolute perfection, the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ.”
In the Old Testament, the word for “Glory” means weightiness and heaviness. God’s Glory is too heavy for us to bear! It is crushing! No one can see God and His Glory and Live.
I. God’s Glory is everything He IS:
God is Holy, omnipotent, onmipresent; He is invisible, eternal, He is Spirit, creator, sustainer, provider, redeemer He is loving, just, compassionate, merciful, patient, absolutely radiant: He is absolute truth and perfect in all His ways. He is from everlasting to everlasting, the ONLY God Forever. The foundation of God’s glory is in His name “I AM THAT I AM” (Yahweh, “Jehovah” if you wish). His name is the verb for ‘BEING”, self- sustaining and self-existing.
God never had a beginning (HE NEVER CAME INTO “BEING”- He always was!) and He will never have an end. (He will never cease to BE and never cease to BE God and God ALONE!) God is absolute reality: no reality exists outside of him unless He wills it and makes it happen. He is simply there as absolute reality. He is all that was eternally. No space, no universe, no emptiness. Only God. He is utterly and entirely INDEPENDENT…ALWAYS. He depends on no one. ALL that IS NOT God is secondary, and totally dependent on HIM and Him Alone. “Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory.” (How many times do people use the word “God” as if it is just another three letter word?)
“All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isaiah 40:17). The CREATED is accounted as LESS THAN NOTHING compared to God and HIS GLORY-less than a speck of dust-‘What is man or the son of man that you should visit Him?” God is CONSTANT, has always BEEN, is always the SAME, will always BE the same: NEVER CHANGING, never weakening.
God is absolute TRUTH and so He will always do what pleases HIM because He is perfectly righteous and just in ALL OF HIS WAYS: He has the supreme right to BE God. He IS GOD alone. He is the ONLY BEING who is worthy of everyone’s interest and attention, their devoted admiration and enjoyment, in all the entire universe. (We’ll expand on this in a moment.)