THE GLORIES OF CHRIST
Part 2 of an introduction to “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow”.
“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:25-27
The Lord, when speaking to the two on the road to Emmaus, reminded them of how the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow are central to the Old Testament scriptures. Ought not Christ to have suffered and then been glorified? The two subjects are inextricably linked in the scriptures, both in the Old Testament, as well as the New (see 1 Peter 1:12).
Here I would like to enter a little on the subject of the glories the surround the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. So connected is He with His glories that He is referred to in 1 Cor. 2:8 as “the Lord of glory”. We must first understand that many of Christ’s glories are essential, in that they are His because of His identity. His being the expression of God’s substance, or His being Creator and Life-giver, are part of the fabric of His being. Other glories are intrinsic; in other words they flow from His character. Other glories have been acquired by Christ and belong to Him because of what He has done to the glory of God and for the blessing of man. These were glories He did not have in a past eternity.
The glories of Christ may be divided into several subheadings:
- His personal glory. This is that essential glory which pertains to Christ in His intra-Trinitarian identity; as the Eternal “Son of God“. (Heb. 1, Col. 1, John 1)
- His moral glory. This is that intrinsic glory which pertains to Christ in the perfection of His character (light & love on display); the holiness, righteousness, humility, dependence, kindness, and grace, etc. manifested in the man named “Jesus“ (the gospel narratives).
- His messianic (official) glory. This is that glory which pertains to Christ in His messianic offices in connection with Israel; as Prophet, Priest, and King. Christ is presented as “Son of David“.
- His mediatory glory. This is that glory which Christ acquired through humiliation and suffering because of and on behalf of mankind. Christ is presented under the title “Son of Man“, in which He is seen as the accomplisher of God’s purpose in the creation of mankind.
The following paragraphs will look briefly at each aspect of His glory.
As SON OF GOD in connection with His eternal identity.
The personal glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is that essential glory which pertains to Christ in His intra-Trinitarian identity; as the Eternal Son of God. (Heb. 1, Col. 1, John 1). To summarize, the personal glory of Christ is all that is comprehended in the name “Son of God”. Two things primarily:
- He is God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things received being through him, and without him not one thing received being which has received being.” (John 1:1-3)
- He is in Eternal Relationship to the Father as His only-begotten Son. “And we have contemplated his glory, a glory as of an only-begotten with a father … No one has seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:14, 18).
- His eternal being (v.1a)
- His distinct personality (v.1b)
- His proper deity (v.1c)
- His glory as as creator (v.3)
- His glory as the source of life and light (v.4)
- His being the only-begotten in the Bosom of the Father (v.18)
- Heir of all things
- Creator & Upholder of all things
Christ laid aside or veiled His personal glory when He became a man (Phil. 2), and it was hidden to the eyes of men, but revealed to faith. Faith could see through the veil, unbelievers could not see through it. There were a few moments were that glory shown through, such as on the mount of transfiguration.
As JESUS in connection with His own character.
The moral glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is that intrinsic glory which pertains to Christ in the perfection of His character (light & love on display);
As SON OF DAVID in connection with Israel
The official glory of our Lord Jesus Christ is that which pertains to Christ in His messianic offices; as Prophet, Priest, and King.These glories were His by heirship. For instance, He was born King of Israel. He was born a Savior. But He veiled these glories in flesh. He was the King, but he did not come as the King. He was born in a manger, lived in Galilee, etc. and was rejected. These glories will be made good in the Millennium, but in order to be the Savor of Israel, He had to accomplish redemption first.
There are three Old Testament offices that required anointing: the prophet, the priest, and the king. In connection with each of these, the scriptures foretell One who would come as the fulfillment of these offices. The name of Messiah, or Christ (John 1) means “Anointed One”. The Son of God come into this world as a man is “the Christ”.
Aspect #4: His Mediatorial Glory
As SON OF MAN in connection with the whole creation
These glories were acquired through humiliation, suffering, and death. He has perfectly glorified God as to the question of sin, and now God has glorified Christ “in Himself”. As the expiater of sin, as the fulfiller of God’s purpose in creating mankind in the first place, Christ has now been glorified in heaven. He has been invested with these glories in a the heavenly sphere now, but this glory is but a token of the future manifestation which will include earth as well. The entire universe will be placed under the feet of a man! We see not yet all things put under his feet, but we can look up by faith and see the token of it. He sits on His Father’s throne today, but soon He will take His own throne.
- Exalted man (Hebrews 2, Ephesians 1, Phil. 2)
- Cleanser of the Cosmos (Lamb of God, John 1:29)
- Exclusive Judge of all men (John 5)
- Restorer of god’s blessing on the earth (John 1:51)
- Glory in the Church (Eph. 3:21)
Crowns speak of rewards… the world rewarded him with a crown of thorns. But to see in Hebrews 2 Jesus crowned with glory and honor.