The Path to Glory

When he was gone, Jesus said,  “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him.  God will glorify the Son in Himself, and will glorify Him at once.”  John 13:31, 32.

When we think of glory as humans we tend towards heroic deeds or possibly someone with courage beyond what is common.  Jesus being glorified, however, points to a different frame of thought altogether because He is speaking of His coming death.  As a point of reference, we need to remember how ignoble the cross was in Christ’s day. 

By wearing the cross around our necks as jewelry and hanging it above our mantels as a decoration we have robbed it of its the horror and shame.  I’m not saying wearing it as a symbol of belief or as a reminder of who we serve is wrong, merely that the enemy has successfully endeavored to rob the cross of its meaning for most of us when every rock star or rap artist wears one as well.  These people care nothing for the cross as symbol of salvation, I even read an article where Madonna called the cross “sexy”.  There’s a big disconnect here, I’d say, for what the cross did to people was anything but sexy.

Paul speaks to the issue of shame becoming glory in a similar way but with a different purpose in mind.  For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame.  Philippians 3:18, 19.  The enemies of the cross of Christ point to those who lose the ability to see what He did for them on the cross—which is to take the punishment for their sins on Himself so that they might be reconciled to God.  Those who live as enemies of the cross call evil good and good evil, taking the shame away from those things which rebel against their proclaimed Master.  Granted, most of their views might conform to the Word of God, but to deviate from it or deny it as truth in one area undermines the whole.  Humans who live as enemies of the cross are shamed before God not humans.

Jesus, on the other hand, was shamed before men not God; though, while He bore the sin of man, His Father turned away from Him.  Christ’s shame was never one of personal sin rather one of human concoction and artificially inspired, manufactured to get rid of His voice, which spoke light in the darkness of human reasoning.

Jesus’ glory in the cross arose from the reason He went to the cross.  His death and resurrection made it possible for us to find life again by connecting to the Source of Life.  There was no halo around His head while He died nor any while He lived; no one would have picked Him out of a crowd as the Messiah because of what He looked like or for his human connections.  His glory came from who He was, definitely, but our grasp on what brings glory is so skewed we struggle to grasp even the simplest of truths:  Jesus was glorified in the cross because He gave Himself as a ransom for all.

That which humans considered shameful Christ turned to an object of salvation, thus forever making what was intended to degrade, destroy one’s dignity and kill any hope of a name or future by earth’s estimation into His personal vehicle of salvation.  His ability to do this shows us the inverse of man’s character displayed in stark contrast.

Human preoccupation with glory can be summed up in a census taken of grade school and hi school students a few years ago where the poll takers asked them,  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  I don’t remember the exact percentage, but a high number of them said “famous”.  When asked,  “Famous for what?” they didn’t care or even think about how to get there, they just wanted to be famous.

The path to godly glory can be summed up in Paul’s declaration,  “For to live is Christ, and to die is gain!”  Christ’s path to glory passed through the door of human humiliation and those who follow Him must travel the same road.

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One Response to “The Path to Glory”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    I’m teaching the youth group for the next few weeks to give the leaders a break and the youth a new perspective. We are listening to Affabel, John Bevere’s fiction story of judgment day, while going through scripture.

    What’s interesting is in the store there are five main characters, Independent, Selfish, Charity, Faint-Heart, Deceived. Most of the youth connected with Independent because he says, “I always wanted to be my own man”. Never connecting the disconnect with God. They see being their own person and Independent having the biggest mansion in the town, as success.

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