John 13:27-32: Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. 31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.”
John 12:24-28: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. 27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
The pivotal moment in redemptive history is also the pivotal moment in human history, as these are inseparable.
The centerpiece of all history is when God most glorified Himself, and here we have it, in our Lord and Savior’s own words. He looked forward to the cross, yet counted it as done at the moment of His betrayal, and our Father’s voice confirmed it.
This was the moment of glory, when, in accordance to that which was written several hundred years beforehand, “it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10-11)
This was the moment in history that the Almighty God deigned to not only be “found in the likeness of human flesh,” but the very moment He declared that the Father was most glorified among His creation. The moment of the realization of His crucifixion was the moment the Father declared that He was most glorified.
Think upon this a moment: The great miracles that led Israel out of Egypt, the great miracle of our Lord being with them in glory in the cloud and the pillar of fire, the great miracles done during various of the prophets lifetimes, and even the greatest miracles of all time, in the first advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, were not counted by God as the greatest moment of His glory.
Rather, the crucifixion, looked forward to, and counted as completed, was that moment when God declared He had and would glorify Himself.
We cannot add to His glory, but in our Lord’s words, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
God does not honor us as He did His Son; however, He does shine His glory most strongly when we do as our Lord, in His humanity, did: When we die to self, and live according to the risen life of our Lord Jesus Christ imparted to us by His Spirit, God is seen most strongly, as He has decreed.
Although pale in comparison to our unique Lord’s death, many men used greatly by our Great God have been used by Him in the proclamation of His gospel, and the subsequent death of those proclaiming that gospel. Death gives rise to life, in this fallen world, and therein is the folly (according to the world’s standards) of the gospel message.
To cement this, consider the apostle Paul’s words as given by the Spirit of Christ:
2 Corinthians 1:9: Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. And again, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12: But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
The plain picture is that the sacrifice was made by our Lord while He yet lived, looking ahead to that very close time of His death as a man; the conclusion is that we who are yet alive in this dead flesh are experiencing, by faith, the death of our mortal bodies in order to manifest the resurrected life of our Lord to our brethren for the sake of their growth in that risen life, to the glory of our Lord and our Heavenly Father.
This is the principle of a grain of wheat being buried and dying, that it may bring forth much fruit. This truth was realized in the propitiatory sacrifice of our Lord, and is continued (although not as propitiatory, but as contingent to the only blessed propitiation of our Lord) through the proper preaching of His truth and denial of ourselves for the sake of the body of Christ, to the glory of God.
This is losing our life to gain it; this is how our Lord, both God and sinless Man, uniquely glorified the Father; this is how we continue to show that sacrifice and risen life as we die to self, thereby finding our lives unto eternal life.
This is how our God has willed to glorify Himself until the restoration of all things, when the children that the Lord bought at such great cost to Himself are perfected in His glory.
Hence, the title: Now Is God Glorified.
Haltingly in His service in which He always magnifies Himself – Bill