God created man to display His glory. Man was created to be the glory of God. He was made in the image of God, and he was made for the purpose of imaging God, to accurately represent His beauty and majesty. But sin entered our world and that glory was damaged and distorted—so much so, that the judgment from heaven is that each and every one of us falls short of being the glory of God.
Though distorted in the fall, the image and glory of God in man has not been so completely destroyed that we are nothing more than an animal. No. Man remains the pinnacle of God’s creation. We alone are made in His image. We alone possess a measure of glory unlike any other creature.
However; the glory for which we were created has been diminished by the darkening effects of sin. We who were originally created to be God’s willing image-bearers willfully became His enemies. And a dark veil covered His glory. But it did not end there. The sovereign plan of God was not de-railed. No. There is good news.
This God of holiness and justice chose to also reveal that He is filled with grace and mercy. So He began a mission to recover His glory by rescuing those who fell short.
- He chose to rescue them from the damning power of sin.
- He chose to redeem them for Himself.
- He chose to renew His image within them.
- He chose to restore them to their former glory.
But there was only one way to accomplish this rescue mission. God accomplished His redemptive plan by sending His only begotten Son to be the Second Adam—man as he was fully meant to be. But, in this case, also fully God. In Him, God became man and the fullness of God’s glory was put on display. Without any trace of sin, Jesus Christ revealed the character and nature of God. As Colossians 1:15 declares, He truly is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15).
He is “the radiance of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His nature, and [He] upholds all things by the word of His power.” The writer of Hebrews goes on to say that after Jesus had “made purification of sins” [by being punished to death for the very things man had done to rob God of his glory], He was raised from the dead by His Father and presented to the world again. This time, as the one true, righteous, victorious man. Then He “sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb 1:3).
- He sat down because His work was complete.
- He sat down because He had fully paid the sinner’s debt.
- He sat down because He satisfied the justice of God.
- He sat down because He fulfilled the righteous commands of God.
- He sat down because sinful man could now be restored.
- He sat down because the glory for which man was created could now be recovered.
- He sat down because now sinful man could be restored into the perfect image of the Son of God.
- He sat down because He had reclaimed God’s glory.
This is the gospel. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ. This is the glory of God. This is the message of John 1:14.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The gospel is the glory of God made visible in Jesus Christ, the eternal Word who became human flesh. In the person of Jesus Christ, God made Himself known to the world—a world lost in the bondage of sin and Satan. The eternal Word became fully human in order to offer Himself as the perfect atoning sacrifice for our sins. After offering Himself up, willingly, He was buried and rose from the grave three days later. Soon He is coming again to judge the world and rescue forever those who are His.
To behold the glory of Jesus Christ is part of what it means to believe. Jesus said, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who behold the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40).
Are you beholding—by faith—the glory of the Son of God who came to bring you spiritual life?
*This post is adapted from last Sunday’s sermon.