Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Glory Left Behind


 

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,  as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.  I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” – John 17:1-5

At Christmas time we often celebrate Christ’s birth by talking about the three wise men and their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  We sing “The Little Drummer Boy”, which isn’t in the Bible, but tells about a little boy who comes to offer Jesus the small token of playing his drum.  But for all the gifts mankind could offer to celebrate His birth, nothing could even cast a shadow on what He gave up just to be born on earth. 

In John 17:5 Jesus is praying and asks the Father to “glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.  Before the world was, Christ was.  John 1:1-3 says the He was with God before the earth was formed, and all things were made through Him.  Imagine the glory an artist gets from creating a beautiful painting.  Think of the glory that Michelangelo received in creating the sculpture of David.  But compared to the glory of creating the world, these are small, small achievements!  Imagine the praise of Angels, singing His name, and worshipping Him.  Yet, none of that was enough to keep Him in Heaven, and allow us to remain separated from Him.
Christ says “this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”  His greatest glory was in providing us with a relationship with God and Himself through His death. Were it not for His death, the Holy Spirit could not come to us (John 16:7).  Were it not for the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, we would not have a relationship with the Father and Christ (Ephesians 1:14). 

The world was made through Jesus Christ.  But Jesus’ greatest creation was our relationship with Him.  This is where He wants to be glorified, and asks God to “glorify Me together with Yourself”.  A love like that is worth a lifetime of worship, giving back the glory that He chose to leave behind.

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