Thursday, 3 February 2011

A Magnificent Theatre Where the Glory of God Shines Most Brightly

In a post yesterday we saw that our perfect happiness is found in beholding the glory of God (see John 17:24). This raises the question of how we see this glory. Where do we look in order to see the glory of God? It is in the gospel that the glory of God shines most brightly. In the gospel we see "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). This is why he describes the gospel as "the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4). At the heart of the gospel is the cross of Christ, this is where the glory of God blazes most brightly. Calvin has these words to say:
In the cross of Christ, as in a magnificent theatre, the inestimable goodness of God is displayed before the whole world. In all the creatures, indeed, both high and low, the glory of God shines, but nowhere has it shone more brightly than in the cross, in which there has been an astonishing change of things, the condemnation of all men has been manifested, sin has been blotted out, salvation has been restored to men; and, in short, the whole world has been renewed, and every thing restored to good order.
It is in the cross of Christ that we see the glory of God shining most brightly. It is in the crucified saviour where we see most clearly the glory of God revealed in this world, and it will be that same crucified saviour who will be the centre of our worship and delight to all eternity (Revelation 5:9-10; 12). Into all eternity we, as His people, shall be rejoicing in the Lamb who was slain. In the new creation we shall still see this glory. Revelation 21:23 tells us that in the new creation, the glory of God shall give light to that heavenly city, and the lamp through which that light shines is the Lamb. The reason Jesus is called the Lamb is to draw attention to His death. It is Jesus the Lamb who was slain, the crucified saviour, through whom we shall bask in the glory of God to all eternity.

The problem is that we are all naturally blind, and cannot see the glory of God in the face of Christ. Paul points this out in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 and 6. Therefore, nothing short of a miracle equal with the creation of the world (2 Corinthians 4:6), can open our eyes to see His glory blazing in the cross. This means we are helpless unless the one who opened the eyes of the blind (John 9), opens our eyes that we might see. Therefore, as we open our Bibles to see the glory of God in the face of Christ as revealed in the gospel, our prayer must ever be: "Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderous things out of your law." (Psalm119:18).