It was night. Jesus had just given Judas that piece of bread and told him to act quickly. Darkness now surrounded the remaining disciples as they waited to hear the next words from their teacher’s mouth.
When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.*
From darkness to glory — all in an moment.
Did you see that? One minute he knows a betrayer is in their midst, and the next, he’s talking about his glorification.
Not just once but FIVE times.
What does it all mean? Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him.
This is the point in Jesus’ walk toward the cross where he knows there is no turning back. By sending Judas away into the night, he’s set in motion the act necessary to send him to the authorities. He set up his own arrest.
He knows that without the cross, there is no glorification, because without the cross there is no obedience, no sacrifice, no atonement for mankind. Without the cross, God cannot show his power and glory in the resurrection.
The Glorified Christ is the Risen Christ.
Jesus moved one step closer to revealing this to all the world during that dark night with just eleven men. For him, the work was being accomplished even before he uttered his final “it is finished” several hours later.
When the Son of Man is glorified, when his magnificence is revealed, God too is revealed in him, for they are one.
Think about those moments of glory:
- When the disciples had a glimpse during the transfiguration, they fell down in worship.
- When Jesus uttered his last breath, even the centurion guarding him declared, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54)
- When doubting Thomas saw the risen Christ, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28)
The apostle Paul explains this glorification well in his letter to the church in Philippi:
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.*
The world’s ultimate recognition of the Lordship of Christ is what brings glory to God, for God himself has achieved this salvation for us through the sacrifice of his Son on our behalf.
What a glorious wonder is the salvation we receive from the Son of God. We, who should have stayed in the darkness and died in our sin, have through him, now been made free and able to walk in the light as he is in the light.
There are still dark days ahead in this story, but oh, for the glory, we press on in him.
Grace and Peace
*John 13:31-32 (NIV)