From Pastor Brady
In eternity past the Father, Son, and Spirit have loved, appreciated, served and pleased each other. They have been pouring glory into each other for all of time. God has been eternally pleased and happy within Himself.
So then why did God create the world? As Maurice pointed out the other day, God did not create in order to get glory or love. He created in order to share glory and love. As Trinity imagers, we can only be happy when we share glory. When we live for the glory of others rather than self. When we reflect or give glory back to God.
We all worship or glorify something, because that is how God made us. Because of sin, we glory in ourselves, and fall short of the glory of God. For example, does criticism destroy you? Then you are living for the glory of self.
The ultimate glory sharing by the Trinity occurred within God’s redemptive plan, as manifested through the death of Christ Jesus. John 17 explains this to us. Jesus is about to die. In John 17 he is praying. In John 17:1-5 Jesus asks for the glory he gave up (Phil. 2:5f) to be returned to him. This will happen through the cross. His death is the catalyst for his glorification. This is true of us as well. Only death brings glory.
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.” John 17:22
But how could Jesus’ death be a return of glory? Wasn’t the cross the most shameful thing ever? Wasn’t it humiliating and disgusting?
Yes. But it was also the greatest demonstration of Jesus glorifying the Father. And that IS the glory of the Son. It was the greatest display of glory given, therefore it is the greatest glory received. To be self-giving is glory. To give glory is to receive glory.
This is what the gospel gives us- glory; the glory that comes in learning to be self- giving. God gave himself for us, so that we might learn to give ourselves for others. To get the glory of the Father, Jesus had to give up his glory. In this he taught us how to be human, how to be fully alive, how to image God, how to be crowned with glory and honor (Ps. 8).
And the Father gave Jesus that glory back. He did it in numerous ways throughout Jesus’ life (angels at birth, declaration at baptism, mount of transfiguration, miracles, etc.), but He did it ultimately at the cross, when His redemptive plan allowed for Jesus to give glory back to the Trinity, and in so doing to display the glory of self- sacrifice.
And now read our Fighter Verse. Jesus wants to share his glory with you. But how did Jesus receive shared glory? By giving up his life. Servanthood is the meaning of life. Not “be true to yourself” or “follow your dreams.” Unity through self- sacrifice is the purpose of the Trinity and the purpose of your life.
All of this is empowered by the Trinity’s shared glory and love (read John 17:23-24). The Trinity loves you and accepts you and can’t wait to live with you forever. So much so that God has already started the party by indwelling you until that day! God loves you as much as He loves Himself. Wow, let that sink in today, and then go share that love and glory with someone else.