As I sit down to write this post on chapter 2 of We Would See Jesus, it is Easter weekend. What a perfect time to be reading this particular chapter in our study! What better place is there to see God than at the cross? This week, we are going to focus on the glory of God as seen in the face of Jesus Christ at Calvary.
Roy begins chapter 2 by saying, “Perhaps the previous chapter has left us feeling frustrated. We agree with the argument, we realize that our goal should be God Himself, but He seems far off, unknowable. The fact is, God is unknowable unless He grants us a revelation of Himself.” This is so beautiful. The otherwise unknowable God has made Himself knowable through the person of His Son, Jesus Christ! Without Christ, man would be left groping in darkness never realizing the fullness of who God is. Matthew 4:16-17 says, “The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the shadowland of death, light has dawned“ (HCSB).
The One who has made everything visible has remained Himself invisible until Christ! Colossians 1:15 says (speaking of Christ), “And He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation” (NASB). Jesus said in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
Roy says, “The object on which He (God) has shown (His light) is the face of Jesus Christ, and as we look into that face, there shines into our hearts the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, which we can see nowhere else.” In Christ, we not only see God (because He is God), but we see God’s glory on full display. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (NASB). Hebrews 1:3 says, “And He (Christ) is the radiance of His (God’s) glory and the exact representation of His (God’s) nature, and upholds all things by the word of His (God’s) power” (NASB).
What do you think of when you think of the word “glory?” Roy says, “glory in a man’s eyes is always that which exalts him(self).” When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God answered by saying, “I will make all my goodness pass before you” (Exodus 33:18-19). The word for ‘goodness’ in verse 19 means ‘kindness.’ Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” (NASB).
As we look closer at God’s glory, we begin to see that it is much different than man’s glory! We know God’s glory was seen when Jesus rose from the dead (and praise God for the resurrection!) but sometimes we overlook the glory of God as seen at the cross. John 1:14 says, “and the Word became flesh , and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (NASB). There is a unique connection between God’s glory and His grace. Roy says:
God’s glory is His grace (see Ephesians 1:6).
In John 12:23, Jesus says that “the hour has come that the Son of man should be glorified“ (NASB). Later, in verse 32-33 He says, “‘And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.’ But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die” (NASB). God’s glory was seen in Jesus being lifted up on the cross of Calvary! Roy says, “What is our surprise then, when we discover that He is speaking not of being lifted up on a throne but on a tree, as a public spectacle of shame – and all that for rebellious man, that He might save him from the miseries of his sin. ‘This,’ says Jesus in effect, ‘is the hour of My glory, for it is the hour of My grace to sinners.’ In Jesus, then, we see that God’s highest glory consists in His securing our deepest happiness. What a God is this!”
Just wow. I can’t begin to fully express this glorious truth! If God’s glory is best seen in Jesus on the cross, then the best way for us to “see God” is to see our need of Him and His sacrifice. Not only for salvation (justification), but for daily living (sanctification)! This is why my dad entitled his book, Living Grace. It’s God’s kindness, goodness, and everything else we’re not! His love in exchange for our hate. His goodness in exchange for our awfulness. His holiness in exchange for our sin. His payment in exchange for our guilt. His light in exchange for our darkness. His life in exchange for ours.
I pray that throughout this Easter season, God will help you fully realize His glory!
Here are some things to meditate on throughout this week.
- Day 1: Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-18, Hebrews 1:3, John 14:9 and Colossians 1:15. What do you learn about Jesus being the full representation of His Father? How does this truth speak into your life today?
- Day 2: Read John chapter 1. List everything you learn about who Jesus is.
- Day 3: What do you learn about the “Light” from John 1:9, Luke 2:21-33, John 8:12, Revelation 22:5, John 12:46, 1 John 1:5 and John 9:5?
- Day 4: According to Matthew 5:14-16, Philippians 2:15, and Ephesians 5:8, what do you learn about the Light of the World shining through us?
- Day 5: Take some time today to reflect on God’s glory seen at the cross by reading Isaiah 53. (The full account of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection can be found in John 17-21). Now read 1 Peter 1:18-21and note how our faith and hope in God are secured.
As you reflect on God’s Word this week, prayerfully answer the following questions.
- How does the connection of God’s glory and His grace impact you?
- How is the recognition of need and the confession of sin the first step in seeing Jesus?
I pray “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Ephesians 1:17 NASB).