The Gospel of John: I will Glory in the Cross.

“When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.” (John 13:31-32)

As we have previously noted, repetition in the Bible is a sure sign of emphasis. In other words, God wants us to pay attention to what He is saying and one of the best ways of doing that is by repeating a particular word or phrase again and again. No pun intended.

Such is the case in John 13:31-32 where we find the word “glorified” or “glorify” occurring five times. The word glorify (δοξάζω; doxazo) means to praise, honor and to acknowledge an object as truly great or wonderful. We derive our English word doxology from the Greek word for glorify.

When Judas the betrayer had left the upper room to fulfill his God ordained activity  (John 13:21-30), Jesus proclaimed that He was now glorified. He used the familiar “Son of Man” title of deity in identifying Himself. However, how was Jesus glorified by Judas’ act of betrayal?

With Judas’ departure, the final events began to transpire which would lead Jesus to the cross, the grave and eventually to the empty tomb. All of these events, and their underlying purpose, would prove to bring honor, praise and greatness to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Pastor Burk Parsons writes, “Certainly, we do not want to minimize the sheer awfulness and horrific nature of Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion. Yet, given what we read in today’s passage, we must also note that the death of our Lord was both the greatest travesty in human history and one of the greatest moments of glory ever seen. After Judas’ departure from the Upper Room, Jesus said to His disciples, “Now is the Son of Man glorified” (v. 31). This is a reference to the atoning death of Christ, which was imminent. John’s gospel tells us in several ways that the death of Jesus was a moment of supreme glory for our Savior. When Jesus asks for the Father to glorify Him at the right hour, that right hour is the hour of His death (17:1). When Jesus spoke of His being lifted up to draw worshipers to Himself, He was speaking of being lifted up on the cross of Calvary (3:14; 12:27).”

How did the cross bring glory to Christ? The Bible gives us four reasons.

First, the cross glorifies the justice of God (Galatians 3:10-14; I John 2:2; I John 4:10; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17). Jesus would become the propitiation for our sins. He would receive the righteous judgment and wrath of God in the place of sinners like you and me (2 Corinthians 5:21). Soli deo Gloria!

Second, the cross glorifies the almighty power of God who raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:24; Romans 6:3-5). In rising from the dead, Jesus conquered spiritual, physical and eternal death. Soli deo Gloria!

Third, the cross glorifies the supreme wisdom of God the Father (I Corinthians 1:18-31). What the fallen world despises, God glorifies: the preaching of the cross. Soli deo Gloria!

Fourth, the cross glorifies the love of God (I John 4:7-10). Soli deo Gloria!

Dr. R.C. Sproul concludes by saying, “Without the cross, there is no Christianity. In the atoning death of Jesus is revealed the glory of our Triune God, and if we do not preach the cross, then we are failing to glorify our Creator. When we share the gospel with others, we must emphasize the atonement, for in the atonement we see the character of God in His mercy and justice fully revealed.

When I survey the wondrous Cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain, I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride.

See from His head, His hands, His feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet?
Or thorns compose, so rich a crown..

Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
Oh the wonderful Cross, oh the wonderful Cross
All who gather here by grace, draw near and bless Your name.

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Soli deo Gloria!


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