The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Hour That Came"
Just before He was arrested and ultimately tortured to death, the Lord Jesus Christ prayed to His Father.
"These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee" (John 17:1).
The Father answered that prayer. He glorified the Lord Jesus by allowing human hands to administer upon Him injustice, slander, mockery, condemnation, beating, whipping, thorns, nails, and a spear. Even more, the Father executed His own wrath against sin by smiting His Son with agonies no other conscious being will ever know. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). This was the hour that came. This was the glory revealed, and the prayer answered. "They crucified Him… being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God" (Matthew 27:35; Acts 2:23).
Many centuries before, Moses had asked God to show him His glory. The Lord answered, "I will make all My goodness pass before thee" (Exodus 33:18-18). Before the sufferings of the Lord Jesus, this encounter between God and Moses had served as the most direct definition of "glory" ever revealed. The man had asked to see God's glory. The Lord responded by revealing His goodness. This was definitive. Indeed, of all that could be said about the glory of God, the essence of His character - goodness - most Biblically defined the meaning. That is, again, until the hour that came.
Every moment of our Savior's sorrows, suffering, forsakenness, and death at the hands of men and the hand of God resulted from the Lord's prayer: "Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may also glorify Thee." The Lord Jesus asked for both His and His Father's goodness to be revealed. Calvary sounds and resounds with this glory, this glory of goodness composed by a grace even eternity will never fully explain. How can there be such a One who so graciously gives His beloved Son to suffer and die for rebels willfully gone astray, with no inclination to turn and return? How can that Son be so willing to obey His Father's purpose? Glory is the answer, the glory of goodness defined to Moses verbally, and revealed by the Lord Jesus demonstrably. "And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth" (Exodus 34:6).
The hour that came still shines its glory of goodness in this hour that is. If ever we are tempted to question God's ways, let us hear His voice of old, "I will make all My goodness pass before Thee." Even more, let us gaze on the pages of Scripture to behold the revelation of God glorifying Himself and His Son in a way that does not pass before us, but rather enters into our hearts to elicit wonder beyond all comprehension. Yes, our Lord's glory can be understood in many ways. But nothing more defines the reality than His goodness, whether declared to Moses by word, or revealed to all by the grace of Calvary, where we most discover the heart and nature of our glorious God.
"They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy great goodness, and shall sing of Thy righteousness. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all His works."
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
(II Corinthians 4:6)
Weekly Memory Verse
Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.