Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Glory of the Son of Man.

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. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
It’s funny Bo Giertz titles this section, “Now the Son of Man is glorified”. In English Bibles it is titled “A New Commandment.” It show the stark contrast between the Lutheran way of approaching scripture and the Reformed (who dominate English translation and publication of Bibles.” Lutheran’s look for the gospel, for what God is doing for man, the good news, the forgiveness of sin. The reformed are busy looking for another commandment to live by. But it does nothing more than the rest of the commandments, it kills, it condemns, it accuses.
Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. The language is staggering. Jesus is about to die. He speaks of his death as glorification. People look at this as weakness but it isn’t. Here is God’s glory, on the cross suffering in a cold sweat of blood and tears for the salvation of man. This isn’t what people think when they think of the glory of God. Normally they think of sapphire throne rooms, streets of gold, the power to do what he wants and the foreknowledge of everything. But no, the glory is found in this, that though he is the author of life and the creator of the world he has the ability to die. To think about it is a Gordian knot unraveled, a conundrum solved, lifting the rock too big to lift. Here is an awesome power on display, and it saves the world. And that is the thing that God delights in, your salvation. He finds this to be his glory. The rest of all that that we glory in, he rejects, he puts aside, your life is worth more to him than political power, gold, silver or fame. His glory is the cross and when God is glorified in him on the cross where your salvation is accomplished, then God glorifies him he raises him from the dead and sits him at his right hand. This is his glory. This is his love.
And love, love like his is the new commandment he gives. He gave up his life for you out of love. And now he commands his disciples to love each other as he has loved them. To give their lives for each other. To find the life of the other more valuable than yours. Of course, we fail. We are no more able to follow this commandment than we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. God’s law doesn’t get easier in light of the death of Christ, but even more difficult. Salvation on the other hand is accomplished by the one who has loved you even onto death, and found his glory there.

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