The Grave to Glory – Christ and the Glory of God

What is the “Glory of God?” The answer is multi-faceted.

The word doxa (G1391), transliterated to English from the Greek language, occurs 165 times in the New Testament. It is translated most often (147 times, depending on the translation) as the word glory.

In regards to Christ, the glory has been defined (by Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon) as His condition with God the Father in heaven to which He was raised after he had achieved his work on earth at his first advent (i.e., first coming).

The Power of God’s Glory over Death

Romans 6:4 . . . Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father . . . .

Luke 24:26 (words of Christ spoken to His disciples after He arose from the grave) “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter His glory?”

Christ’s Ascension in Glory

1 Timothy 3:16  . . . He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

Although a reality, the full meaning of the glory of God cannot not be grasped by words alone. Perhaps one day, when we witness the glory of God for ourselves, we will understand.

The Cross to the Grave, Part III – Forsaken

The fourth time Jesus spoke from the cross he cried in a loud voice “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (See Matthew 27:45-46 and Mark 15:33-34)

Forsaken. It means totally abandoned, deserted. His cry was as alarming as the darkness blanketing the land. Many standing nearby misunderstood his words. But a Jew would know Jesus was quoting the beginning of Psalm 22 written by David. 

The psalm begins with a cry of anguish, but quickly turns to a proclamation of trust in God. Then David’s words become prophetic. Similarities to the sufferings of Jesus are found throughout. Towards the end of the psalm David praises the Lord and speaks of a future when all will worship Christ the Lord.

Psalm 22 may help us imagine how Christ suffered. Being both fully God and fully human, he suffered physically, as a man, and also emotionally from false accusations, ridicule, and betrayal. But the forsakenness He experienced is unique to Him alone; a type of spiritual agony which human hearts cannot comprehend. Our Lord and Savior surrendered to God’s wrath against all human sin, for all time (2 Corinthians 5:21). Creation manifested the burden placed on our creator God – the sun failed (Luke 23:45) and the earth shuddered (Matthew 27:51).

Did God truly forsake Jesus on the cross, even for a few hours? Was the abandonment physical or spiritual or both? The answer seems beyond the reach of human understanding, but the prayers of Jesus shortly before His death assure us the bond between the Father and the Son was never broken. 

Next Post: The Cross to the Grave, Part IV – Prayers to the Father

Dance with Christ

LORD OF THE DANCE. Image by Julie Anne. ©2019 Anne Monroe Designs. All rights reserved.

Life is a dance with Christ as partner,

          Start the music, step out on the floor.

You may get dizzy changing directions,

          He’ll lead you through it, no exceptions.

 

Life is a dance with Christ as partner,

          Sometimes fast and sometimes slow.

With dips and stops and pivots and turns,

          And always many new steps to learn.

 

Life is a dance with Christ as partner,

          Feel the rhythm, feel the joy.

You know the peace, the love, the Spirit,

          Dance the dance, the world to see it.

 

STOP the music, you’ve slipped and fallen.

          You leave the floor, hurt and sullen.

Is life not a dance? You’ll find a new partner,

          One you can trust to not let go.

Steps planned and simple — no surprises!

          The price you’ll pay will be your soul.

 

Life is a dance with Christ as partner,

          He’s waiting patiently at your side.

He’ll pick you up, he’s all you need,

          So take His hand and let Him lead.

 

Life is a dance with Christ as partner,

          Sometimes easy, sometimes hard.

So dance His dance as He intended,

          Dance His dance, the world to see it,

For life is a dance with Christ as partner.

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Note: Written Sunday, April 23rd, 1995 by Julie Anne.

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Psa 150:4 (NASB):  Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.

 

 

 

 

Pay It Forward

“How much?” you ask as the barista sets your latte on the counter.

“Nothing. It’s been paid by the customer before you.”

“Then pass this on for me,” you reply, smiling, handing him a ten-dollar bill. “I’ll pay it forward.”

Paying it forward is popular in our culture – showing good will, usually to a stranger, with an act of kindness or grace. The recipient expresses gratitude by giving to someone else. Have you received grace from another? Did you respond?

A man named Paul experienced a different kind of grace; divine grace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. In an act of unmerited grace, Christ exerted His holy influence upon Paul’s soul and in a dramatic way turned Paul’s heart and mind to God. Instead of being condemned by Christ for persecuting Christ-followers, Paul was redeemed and forgiven. Rather than living in regret for past actions, Paul served Christ in a ministry of hope and healing.

After encountering the living God, Paul traveled extensively sharing the truth about Christ. When he found others who believed Jesus was the Son of God and long-awaited Messiah and Savior, Paul often remained with these men and women for months or years, to teach and mentor them in the faith. If he couldn’t teach in person he appointed someone to instruct them, mentoring through his letters. Paul paid it forward.

Have you been touched by God’s grace? Are you faithful in sharing the blessings received? Are you paying it forward?

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“But to each  one  of us grace was given  according  to the measure  of Christ’s gift.”         

Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verse 7

NOTE:  To learn more about Paul’s first encounter with Christ, read The Book of Acts, Chapter 9, Verses 1-31.