Wednesday, September 17, 2014
THE GLORY OF THE CROSS
Here we see one of the oldest uses of the aorist tense to describe something that has just happened (Moulton, 1:135). It has happened so recently that in English we express it best in present time. It is called a "Dramatic Aorist" - an idiom used to express a state or reality which has just been entered (Dana & Mantey, p.198). What event plunged Jesus into this glorified state or reality? Judas left the room. The cross work was now under way. Verse 31 is explained by verse 32 which uses a future tense to describe the same glorified state. "God will glorify Him immediately" (δοξασει) (Robertson, p.847).
The cross work of Jesus is His glorification - His finest hour. Glorification refers to the act of displaying the greatness of a person. The greatness of Jesus was most displayed in the cross work of Jesus which began the moment Judas left the upper room. John uses "glorify" (δοξαζω) to refer to the cross (John 12:16, 23). The greatness of the Son is displayed on the cross even as the Son displays the Father's greatness on the cross (John 17:1).
Therefore, whenever we diminish the cross, we diminish Christ. Whenever we devalue the cross, we devalue our Lord. Whenever we ignore the cross, we ignore our Savior. We diminish the cross by exalting human abilities. We devalue the cross by over valuing our methods and skills. We ignore the cross when we promote our solutions to life's problems. Sadly, this describes much of modern, western Christianity. We pull Him down when we puff ourselves up. The result is a popular church that thrives on cheap grace and the latest techniques instead of glorying in the cross of Christ.