THE GLORY OF CHRIST
"Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can see my
glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the world
began!" John 17:24
In order that we may see the personal excellency of God's beloved Son, let
us contemplate his glory. That amazing humiliation and painful death to
which Christ submitted, for sinners, will appear still more astonishing,
when we reflect upon that majesty and glory with which he was invested
before time began to flow. In Christ, we behold uncreated glory. No created
glory was ever like his. Christ's glory shone from all eternity. Before the
sun beamed in the heavens, or the moon walked in silvery brightness; before
the stars glittered in the deep blue sky, or the earth sprang into
existence; Christ, the blessed Son of God, lay in the bosom of the
everlasting Father, enjoying equal glory with him.
The glorious Redeemer of a lost world was set up from everlasting. Hear his
own declaration, "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever
the earth was," and surely the glory of the eternal Son must be as old as
himself. Yes, Christ has always been, and will ever continue to be "the
brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person." When
he left the bosom of his Father, and the regions of bliss, and visited this
fallen world with the message of redeeming love, he only veiled his glory in
humanity. He lost nothing of his original glory by his assumption of human
nature. He was as truly "the brightness of his Father's glory" when he lay
in the manger at Bethlehem, when he had not where to lay his head on earth,
or when hung a dying victim on Calvary's cross, as he was before the
Incarnation, or as he now is, in his glorified state at the right hand of
Though his glory was veiled in a human form, when he tabernacled in the
flesh, now and then a beam of that glory darted through his human nature,
proclaiming to all around that he was divine. The disciples beheld the glory
of their Redeemer. Says the beloved John, "The Word became flesh and made
his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and
Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Says another faithful follower of the Lord, and an eye-witness of his
majesty, "And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God's
glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, 'This is my beloved Son; I
am fully pleased with him.' We ourselves heard the voice when we were there
with him on the holy mountain." On mount Tabor, Peter, James and John got a
glimpse of the Savior's glory, which made them feel as if heaven had come
down upon earth. There Christ's glory beamed forth in heavenly splendor,
"when his face shone as the Sun, and his clothing was white as the light."
There Moses and Elijah also appeared in glory, and spoke of his decease
which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
What a glorious, sacred spot! How nearly allied to heaven! What is all the
splendor of the universe, contrasted with the resplendent scene of Tabor!
How gloomy! Contrasted with that dazzling, overpowering brightness which
there emanated from the blessed Jesus, the sun is darkness itself. Never had
there been such a vivid manifestation of the glory of Christ on earth, as
was then displayed to astonished disciples. Well might Peter exclaim, "Lord,
this is wonderful! If you want me to, I'll make three shrines, one for you,
one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Delightful abode! To dwell with Jesus!
to be overshadowed with his glory!
"If heaven be thus glorious, Lord,
Why must I keep from thence?
What folly is it that makes me loth
To die, and go from hence?"
Hasten on, O joyful day, when I shall be admitted into the palace of the
great King, when I shall see him in his beauty, in his glory; when I shall
be made "a pillar in the temple of God, and go no more out;" when I shall
dwell with Christ, yes, with that glorious Savior, whose blessed side was
once pierced for me. Happy, unspeakably happy, will those be whom Christ
will bring to behold his glory! Their bliss no mortal tongue can express.
They will reign with Jesus, and behold his glory forever and ever. "To him
who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I
overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne."
It is the will of Christ, that all his people be with him, that they may
behold his glory. Mark that beautiful prayer of his, in the 17th chapter of
John: "Father, I want these whom you've given me to be with me, so they can
see my glory. You gave me the glory because you loved me even before the
For what is it that Christ prays so fervently here? It is, that those given
him by his Father, may not only he with him, but that they may also behold
his glory. That prayer has not ascended to heaven in vain. It has been heard
on high. In heaven, all the redeemed around the throne of God, are now
beholding the glory of Christ. All the spirits of just men made perfect, are
admiring his beauty. This prayer will be fully answered, when Christ shall
bring forth the head-stone of his living, glorious temple with shoutings;
when he shall exclaim, "Behold I and the children which God has given me."
When every member of his precious flock shall be gathered home to himself;
when even the feeblest lamb shall be housed from the storm. Then shall we
all be with Christ; then shall we behold his glory; not veiled as it was in
his humiliation, blazing forth in full, unclouded splendor.
The glory of Christ will make eternity itself one bright, unsullied day of
bliss. This will be manifested to the redeemed; they will spend the
revolving ages of a blissful sterility in beholding it. It will irradiate
the mansions of bliss; it will adorn with immortal splendor and beauty every
inhabitant of those mansions. It will decorate with blooming youth countless
millions. It will light up a bright and glorious abode for the redeemed. It
will constitute the purest, noblest, brightest heaven. What is heaven but
being with Christ, and beholding his glory? This is heaven! This is
blessedness! This is the bliss of saints! O blessed privilege, to be with
Christ, to behold his glory.
And all believers shall soon be forever with him. What a happy state to be
ever with the Lord, beholding his glory! This made Paul long to depart, that
he might be with Christ. "I'm torn between two desires: Sometimes I want to
live, and sometimes I long to go and be with Christ. That would be far
better for me" Immediately after death, the soul of the believer is with
Christ, beholding his glory, "absent from the body, and present with the
How many have longed for a sight of this glory of Christ. How often has it
cheered the heart of the dying Christian, and filled his soul with the hope
of a glorious immortality. A few hours before the great Dr. Owen breathed
his last, friend informed him that he had just been putting his work. "On
the glory of Christ", to the press, to whom the Dr. responded, "I am glad to
hear that that performance is put to press;" then lifting up his hands, and
raising his eyes as in a rapture, he exclaimed, "But O brother, the long
looked for day is come at last, in which I shall see that glory in another
manner than I have ever done yet, or was capable of doing in this world."
A great part of heaven's happiness, will consist in beholding the glory of
Christ; yes, the glory of Christ will fill heaven with unutterable bliss. O
blessed Jesus, show us your glory; may it illuminate our pathway through a
world of darkness; may it guide us to you, the uncreated source of life,
light and glory. With you is the fountain of life; in your light shall we
see light. Wean our affections from a world that is so soon to be wrapped in
flames. Elevate our views above the transient scenes of earth, its fading,
deceitful joys, to the permanent and enrapturing bliss of heaven. May we be
going up through this wilderness world leaning on you, our Beloved. While on
earth may we live to your glory; and when done with mortal life, when the
messenger of death is sent to convey our immortal spirits home, may we be
safely conducted through death's dark valley and Jordan's swelling stream,
to the heights of Zion, the city of the great King, the heavenly Jerusalem,
the celestial Canaan, where you, blessed Savior, reign in everlasting glory.
"Oh! that I felt my soul upborne
On pure devotion's wings,
Far above earth's deceitful joys
And sublunary things.
Where you, blessed Savior, sit enthroned
In everlasting light;
The glory of the angelic host,
The source of their delight.
There in your blissful presence reigns
Immortal joy serene;
No wintry storms are heard to roar,
Nor desolation seen.
Around you flow unmixed delights,
Like rivers deep and wide;
While from the ocean of your love,
Proceeds an endless tide.
Can such a sinful creature, Lord,
Partake his wondrous grace,
To dwell with you in heavenly bliss,
And view your glorious face?
Ah! then, let sin and earth usurp
My wayward heart no more;
Oh, be through life, my all in all,
My soul's unbounded store."
Have you obtained a glimpse of the glory of the Sufferer of Calvary? Is
Christ glorious in your view, or does he appear "as a root out of a dry
ground, having no form, nor loveliness, no beauty that you should desire
him?" Is he, in your estimation, "the chief among ten thousand" all lovely,
all glorious; or do you "lightly esteem the rock of your salvation?" Have
you seen Christ, in all his glory, not with the bodily eye, but with that of
faith, which scans the heavens and views the Savior there, as yours? Or have
you no faith in God's dear Son? Are you still rejecting the free offer of a
crucified Savior; still counting his precious blood an unholy thing?
These are solemn questions which you are now called upon to answer. I you
have never viewed Christ as your glorious Savior, look to him now as such.
Let faith spread her wings towards him. Believe on his glorious name. "But
the way of getting right with God through faith says, 'You don't need to go
to heaven' (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). Salvation that
comes from trusting Christ—which is the message we preach—is already within
easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, 'The message is close at hand; it
is on your lips and in your heart.'"
To see Christ in the glory of his person, in the fullness of his grace and
as our only Savior, is the sight that affords perfect peace– that peace of
God which passes all understanding. This blessed sight fills the soul with
joy unspeakable and full of glory; elevates the sinner's view above
sublunary objects, to those blissful mansions in the skies, and cheers the
believing soul, when standing on the threshold of eternity, with the hope of
a glorious immortality. When we obtain a faith's view of Christ and his
glory, how despicable do the unhallowed joys and pleasures of a dying world
appear? Even now one beam of the Savior's glory shining into our hearts, or
the light of his countenance lifted upon us, will afford us more joy that
all the glittering wealth of the world. Hear an eminent saint of olden times
exclaim, "You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that
their corn and their wine increased."
You who have embraced the glorious Savior will soon be made a partaker of
his glory. "The glory which you gave me, "says Christ, "I have given them."
O wonderful! wonderful! not only to behold that glory, but to receive it
ourselves! "The Lord will give glory." What shall we render to him for all
his gifts? "Bless the Lord O my soul; and all that is within me! O, bless
his holy name." Every step you take on earth will be a step heavenward.
Constantly beholding the glory of Christ in the mirror of the word and
ordinances, you will become more and more transformed into his likeness.
"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being
transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from
the Lord, who is the Spirit." In the face of Christ, we behold the glory of
God, the brightness of the divinity, shining forth in uncreated,
overpowering luster. The holy Spirit illuminates our hearts, and enables us
to discern this effulgence of, divine glory. "God, who first commanded the
light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Christ is crowned with all the radiance of the Deity. "In him dwells all the
fullness of the godhead bodily." "In him are hidden all the treasures of
wisdom and knowledge." "The word was made flesh," and the glory of God shall
shine through that flesh through all eternity, and make that blessed form
far more glorious than the midday sun. How glorious and exalted is Christ!
Encircled with inconceivable glory and seated on the throne of heaven, he
sways with uncontrollable power, the scepter of the universe. There is a
glory in the person of Christ that makes him unspeakably precious to
believers. There is a glory in his perfections. There is a glory in his
works. "All your works shall praise you, O Lord; and your saints shall bless
Yes, Christ is not only glorious in his person, but also in his works. In
the works of creation he is encircled with divine glory. "The heavens
declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy work;" and in
that greater work- the redemption of a lost world- he is crowned with
incomprehensible glory, and exalted to the right hand of God. "What we do
see is Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, and now
is crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death for us." Dear
believer, this glorious Savior is yours. For you he died; for you be lives;
for you he reigns the Lord of glory. With the church you may exclaim, "This
is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem" "how great
is his goodness, and how great is his beauty!"
How attractive, how desirable, how lovely, how glorious will Christ appear
in heaven! How will his glory shine there! When we awake amid the splendors
of immortality, the first object that will excite our admiration will be
that glorious Redeemer, who loved us, and gave himself for us; whose dying
groans were once uttered on Calvary; whose bleeding heart there showed the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height of redeeming love! Then shall we
see with our very eyes, Him who was, for us, taken, and by wicked hands
crucified and slain! But, oh! we shall see him shining in effulgent glory!
The glory of the Man of Calvary will attract the eyes of all the redeemed
above, and he will be forever "admired in all those who believe." The
perpetual presence of Christ and the continued manifestation of his glory
will always make heaven one noontide of light and blessedness. He will be
continually before us, and his glory will be constantly beaming upon its;
and our sight will be so illuminated that we can steadily behold that glory.
Now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face.
Now, we could not possibly bear the full effulgence of that glory. It struck
Paul to the earth with blindness when Jesus appeared to him, and when he saw
"a light from heaven brighter than the sun shine down on me." And on the
manifestation of a glorified Savior, John falls to the earth as dead. But in
heaven we shall gaze with intense delight upon the glorious sun of
righteousness, shining in his meridian splendor. Blessed be God! That sun
once rose on our benighted world! That promise has been fulfilled, "Upon you
that fear my name, shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his
That "true light, which enlightens every man that comes into the world"
pointing us to heaven, the region of eternal glory, once shone on earth.
That light will eternally shine in the upper world in the celestial
mansions. There Christ will always manifest himself to his people, in all
his glory. There they will not have to cry with Moses, "I beseech you, show
me your glory." All shall see it. Every saint there shall be gazing forever
upon the uncreated glory of Immanuel. O blessed sight! Lord, prepare each of
us for beholding this glory. Unite our hearts to you, by faith. May we be
growing in grace and in the knowledge, of you- our Lord and Savior. Oh,
Almighty Savior, preserve us from the snares and temptations of a world
lying in wickedness, and finally present us faultless before the presence of
your glory with exceeding joy.
In his sublime vision of the glory of Christ, Isaiah speaks thus, "In the
year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and
the train of his robe filled the Temple. Hovering around him were mighty
seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with
two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. In a
great chorus they sang, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty! The whole
earth is filled with his glory!' The glorious singing shook the Temple to
its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke."
That this was the glory of Christ, which Isaiah saw, John, in the 12th
chapter of his gospel, asserts, "These things said Isaiah, when he saw his
glory, and spoke of him." On the lonely isle of Patmos, the beloved disciple
had a glorious revelation of the Son of God. Heaven opened and poured forth
its glories upon him. He was fanned with its breezes. He stood bewildered
and amazed amid its grand pageantry. But one form more glorious than all
other objects, filled him with profound awe and consternation. It was the
Lord Jesus. His countenance shone like the sun in his midday splendor. Glory
beamed from every part of that blessed form, diffusing a flood of light on
all around, and blazing far, far away into eternity. It was the dazzling
form of the Lamb of God, in more than earthly transfiguration that appeared
to the bewildered disciple. The description which he furnishes of this
glorified personage is this, "When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I
saw seven gold lampstands. And standing in the middle of the lampstands was
the Son of Man. He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his
chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his
eyes were bright like flames of fire. His feet were as bright as bronze
refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. He
held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from
his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance. When
I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead."
This is Jesus of Nazareth, the same Jesus on whose bosom the beloved
disciple had so often leaned. How glorious does he appear now! So glorious,
that John falls at his feet as dead. This is the same Jesus whom the dying
Stephen saw standing on the right hand of God. When his cruel persecutors
were about to imbrue their hands in the blood of this holy servant of God,
he being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw
the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
This, Christian, is the same Jesus whose glory you shall behold in heaven;
whom you will love and praise and adore with unceasing delight and seraphic
vigor, through eternity's rolling ages. Love and admire him now. Cleave
closely to him, and you will soon see his glory. You will soon be with
Christ! O happy thought!
Soon, very soon, shall the visions of earth vanish, and the darkness of
mortality disappear before the rising glories of Immanuel's kingdom. The
time is short; the period is just at hand, when we shall, with transporting
joy, behold the dawning of that day which will never end, and the rising of
that sun which will never set. Then "Your eyes shall see the King in his
beauty! they shall behold the land that is very far off." Raised in glory,
and caught up from the flames of a burning, crumbling world, to meet the
Lord in the air, "when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to
be admired in all those who believe; we shall, with him, soar to a brighter
world above– Our everlasting happy home, where no sin ever defiles, where no
tears ever flow, and where no death is ever feared.
Entering into the golden city and its many mansions, we shall sit down with
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; with Moses and Elijah; with prophets and apostles,
in the kingdom of God. Standing, not on Mount Tabor below, but on Mount Zion
above; not with Moses and Elijah, alone, but with "the general assembly and
church of the firstborn, who are written in heaven;" we shall ever behold,
contemplate and admire the glory of him who is the light of heaven, and the
brightness of God's glory. How gloriously will that celestial city, the home
of the redeemed, be illuminated with the presence of Immanuel!
There, no natural light is required. "And the city has no need of sun or
moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light."
There, all will be irradiated by the glory of God and the Lamb. "No longer
will you need the sun or moon to give you light, for the Lord your God will
be your everlasting light, and he will be your glory." There, from a
reflection of that glory, the righteous themselves shall shine forth as the
sun in the kingdom of their Father. Eternal glory beams in Immanuel's land.
Everlasting light emanates from His blessed face. "The sun will never set;
the moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your
days of mourning will come to an end." "And there will be no night there—no
need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will
reign forever and ever."
To this blessedness, to this glory, to this honor, to this immortality, "the
Spirit and the bride say, "Come." Let each one who hears them say, "Come."
Let the thirsty ones come—anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the
water of life without charge." O, my friends! be wise in time; choose a
glorious Christ now, and you shall shine as the stars forever and ever!
Now, "Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only does wondrous
things. And blessed be his glorious name forever; let the whole earth be
filled with his glory! Amen and amen.
"He who on earth as man was known,
And bore our sins and pains.
Now, seated on the eternal throne,
The God of glory reigns.
His hands the wheels of nature guide
With an unerring skill;
And countless worlds extended wide,
Obey his sovereign will.
While harps unnumbered sound his praise,
In yonder world above;
His saints on earth admire his ways,
And glory in his love.
His righteousness to faith revealed,
Wrought out for guilty worms;
Affords a hiding place and shield,
From enemies and storms.
This land, through which his pilgrims go,
Is desolate and dry;
But streams of grace from him overflow
Their thirst to satisfy.
When troubles, like a burning sun,
Beat heavy on their head,
To this almighty Rock they run,
And find a pleasing shade.
How glorious he! how happy they
In such a glorious Friend!
Whose love secures them all the way,
And crowns them at the end."