Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him; if God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him” (John 13)

“Now is the Son of Man glorified.” It did not look like it. One of His disciples had gone out to betray Him to His foes, the most ardent of them would deny he ever knew Him with oaths and curses before the dawn of another day, and all of them would forsake Him. He was to be crucified as the worst of criminals, and that at the special desire and determination of a people whom He loved and whose King He was by every right. If He had said, Now is the Son of Man defeated and dishonoured He would have been more easily understood. But, no. He said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified,” and He said it knowing all that He had to face and pass through.

What did He mean? He was the Son of Man; let that great fact have its due weight with us, for only thus can we understand His words. The Word had become flesh, He, the Eternal Son, had taken the place of subjection to God, He was sent forth by the Father to accomplish one great obedience. He was a true and proper Man, and a man’s greatest glory is to fulfil in perfection the reason of his existence, which is complete and continuous obedience to God. Adam was crowned with this glory in Eden, but the crown was struck from his brow when he disobeyed God and the shame of that disobedience fills the world today. But the Son of Man came to prevail where every other man had fallen. He came to obey, to manifest the true glory of manhood by the absolute surrender of Himself to the will of God.

He had always obeyed, since He came into the world saying, “Lo, I come, to do Thy will, O God.” Morning by morning His ear had been opened to receive His Father’s commandments and to do them, but He had not faced hitherto such a test as this. Death as God’s judgment upon men because of their sin lay before Him, death in all its unrelieved bitterness. He was to be lifted up as the sinless substitute for the guilty, to endure the stripes that their sins demanded. His soul was exceeding sorrowful, He was troubled in spirit. What should He say? Should He evade that terrible hour? No. He set His face as a flint, He would obey, whatever the cost to Himself. He had received a commandment from His Father to lay down His life, and He would do it. And this was His glory. When at last He cried with a loud voice, “It is finished,” and gave up His spirit He was glorified. His cross was His coronation. Then and there in the very hour when the shame that men had heaped upon Him had reached its utmost limit the full glory of His true and proper Manhood shone out before God and heaven. He had finished the work that His Father had given Him to do.

“And God is glorified in Him.” But there was more at the cross than the glory of the Son of Man God’s glory was there and God was glorified in Him There was only one way in which God could be glorified and that was by the full revelation of what He is in His nature and attributes, and that was done by that lone and suffering Man. He was God’s unspeakable gift for the world, a world that hated Him, for He was not Son of Man only, but the Only-begotten Son of God, and so the supreme revelation of God’s love. The lie of the devil that had filled the beat of the human race with enmity against God was there exposed. But in that gift of love God’s justice was not compromised: His throne was upheld in its eternal rectitude and His Majesty magnified. Mercy and truth met together there, and righteousness and peace kissed each other. God’s inflexible judgment upon sin fell upon the holy sin-bearer without any mitigation, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,” (2 Cor. 5:21) and “Herein is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us. and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). God’s glory shone forth in the darkness as the Saviour-God and yet wholly just, and He is now just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. The glory of the cross shall never waver, it shall fill eternity with its light, and because of it and in the unclouded joy of it countless myriads shall glorify God with never-ceasing praise.

“God shall glorify Him in Himself and shall straightway glorify Him.” It has been rightly said that the women that brought their spices to the sepulchre on the morning of the first day of the week were not the first visitors to that sacred spot. He was raised from the dead by “the glory of the Father” (Rom. 6:4). When the Scripture had been fulfilled that He must be three days in that tomb, the Father’s glory descended and brought Him forth triumphant over death. Where in the wide Universe of God could a place be found worthy to receive Him who had so perfectly glorified God? There was but one place and that was the Father’s right hand, “above all principality and power, and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world but in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:21). And yet though crowned with glory and honour—“straightway glorified”—in that supreme place He is not more glorious than He was when “crucified in weakness.” The diamond has been put in the golden setting. The glory of the diamond is not increased by the golden setting, but it is the only setting suitable for it. The Father’s right hand was the only place worthy to receive Him, because of who He is and what He has done.

Other glories shall be His in due course, the universe shall be filled with His glory, but more precious to Him than all is that which is given Him by His Father now, for therein is the Father’s approval of all that He has done declared, and He has glorified Him in Himself.

J. T. Mawson