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Lent 2018 Devotional—February 23rd

Lent 2018 Devotional—February 23rd

PRAY

Loving Father, may I have the power to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Ephesians 3:18-19).

READ

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:31-35

As Satan enters into Judas and he plunges into night, Jesus realizes that the cross is at hand. The hour has come for the unfolding of God’s eternal plan, as “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son”(John 3:16a). Make no mistake about it; it is God who rules and not Satan, nor any forces of darkness! “Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy; but the Father, for love.” (Octavius Winslow, No Condemnation in Christ Jesus)

Curiously, it is Judas taking the final step of betrayal that prompts Jesus to exclaim: “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.” Notably, Jesus looks at the cross as glory for Him and for the Father. For it is through the cross that He will display God’s love for the world. And that will be glory, as the glory of God is manifestation of His perfections.

When Moses asked God, “Show me your glory, I pray”, God granted his request saying, “I will make all my goodness pass before you” (Exodus 33:18-19a). Old Testament scholar Raymond Ortlund says that God’s glory is “the fiery radiance of his very nature. It is his blazing beauty…God bringing himself down to us, God displaying his beauty before us, the true answer to our deepest longings.” (Isaiah: God Saves Sinners)

Jesus understands that His death for us on the cross will be the ultimate demonstration of God’s infinite love and grace for sinners. The apostle Paul revels in this supreme manifestation of God’s love for us: “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). This is God’s glory revealed; that He would pour out His life for us! “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.” It is what moved heaven’s angels to sing and celebrate at His humble birth, “Glory to God in the highest!” Ah yes! Glory to God!

REFLECT

  • What are times I see God’s glory displayed in creation, e. g. in a sunset, in the starry sky, in a thunderstorm?
  • How do I see God’s greatest glory displayed in His death on the cross?

O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.
Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

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