And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:3-5)
Jesus Christ B. E.
The shadow of the Christ was heavy on the heart of Jesus as He delivered a final message to his disciples. He knew what would happen in a very short time as Judas would betray Him and He would be arrested then lead away to suffer scourging and crucifixion. It was a watershed moment in the life of God’s Son. All of the plans and design of redeeming man was coming down to this critical time. Jesus had to go through the cross to see His Father again. It would be a terrible experience of agony, suffering and incredible pain. In His fleshly body of humanity the Son of God felt the weight of His decision to drink the cup of suffering. There were feelings of agonizing trepidation at the offering of the cross. Jesus would spend time in the deepest prayers He had ever offered. An angel would be needed to strengthen Him. Jesus Christ was experiencing something unimaginable for who He was and where He had come. The complete reality of what happened to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and a place called Golgotha can only be understood from the viewpoint of where the Son of God had come before He was flesh. Jesus Christ was finishing the work He came to do and He begged His Father to glorify Him wrapped in the glory the two shared before the world was. Jesus Christ before earth – how to explain.
John began his gospel message declaring that Jesus was the word and the word was with God and He was God. Jesus was in the beginning with God and all of creation was formed by His hand – the hand of Jesus Christ. There was a glory Jesus had with God the Father before the world was formed from the abyss of darkness. There are no words in the human language that can fully describe what that glory would be. All the writers of holy writ can say about Jesus Christ before earth is that He shared the glory of God and was God. This knowledge must be believed but to understand is an incredible journey of trusting faith to know that someone so great, powerful, beautiful and magnificent left the glory of the Father to embrace carnal human flesh. It is harder to understand why. There are simple answers like the love of God sending His only begotten Son to die for the miserable creation that rebelled, rejected and repudiated everything the Father gave to man. But does anyone really grasp what that means in its full context? John 3:16 is quoted so often that its meaning is lost in realizing what Jesus left to become a man. He left the glory of His Father. He speaks about it hours before He is to die. This glory is something that the Son of God longs to embrace once again. His desire is to go home and be with His Father sharing in the indescribable glory of the presence of His Father.
Here is the difference in what Jesus is longing for and what the children of God look with great anticipation. The saved are longing to share the glory for the first time with a God they have never seen, spoken face to face or felt the presence of in their whole lives. All of the feelings and emotions of salvation are wrapped in the blanket of faith to love a God whom they have not seen. The glory shared by those on earth comes from the attempts to worship the Father in spirit and truth without ever experiencing the realities of that worship in His presence. Man is limited in the best of his adoration of the Father. Jesus shared glory with the Father before time began. He had seen the Father face to face and felt His love, grace, mercy and kindness. There was nothing Jesus did not know about the Almighty Lord God. However it can be described to tell what glory Jesus shared with the Father it will never be understood in human terms. There are no words. But Jesus knew and He longed to share in that glory once again. And that makes His sacrifice so much more incredible that He would leave the pure light of Heaven to come to a world filled with the darkness of sin and die for a worm such as man. Paul would later describe how that Jesus did not consider it be robbery to be equal with God but emptied Himself and took the form of a slave in the likeness of man to die for the failure of all men. There are no words to understand Jesus Christ before earth. But He came and He died and all men who seek Jesus will find the path to the Father opened by the blood of the One who left the glory of God to perfect man.