Well, as you know, I have been in a prolonged study of the Scripture, working through all of the material on the study Bible, and as I have gone through it I have gained again a renewed and refreshed appreciation for certain monumental portions of the Word of God. And because I am not able to get back immediately into the continuity of our teaching in 2 Corinthians and to begin what we’re planning to begin a study of the gospel of Luke, I have been drawn to bring before you a portion of Scripture that just rises from the text of the New Testament like a peak, like Mount Everest, if you will, one of those monumental chapters, and it just falls wonderfully into three segments that I can give to you this morning, tonight, and then two weeks from tonight. I want you to turn to the seventeenth chapter of John’s gospel. The gospel of John chapter 17.
One of the great reformers was Philipp Melanchthon. Philipp Melanchthon lectured on this chapter in the last lecture of his life, and in that lecture he said this, and I quote: “There is no voice which has ever been heard, neither in heaven or in earth, more exalted, more holy, more fruitful, more sublime than the prayer offered up by the Son of God Himself.” End quote. The words of this chapter are plain, yet majestic; simple, yet mysterious. This is considered by many to be the greatest chapter in the Bible in depth, because it plummets the realities of the communion between the Father and the Son and the intimacies of the Trinity, and in scope because it stretches all across redemptive history. This magnificent prayer is so rich and so deep that none of us could ever fully fathom it, yet stated so clearly that we can grasp its truths and be transformed by them.
It is in this chapter that the veil is drawn back, and we are escorted into the Holy of Holies. We approach with our Christ the very throne of God. We come into the inner chamber of the Trinity, the sanctuary; the secret place of the tabernacle of the Most High is opened to us. It is here that we put off our shoes, that we listen with humble, reverent, and eager hearts; for this is, perhaps, the holiest ground in the Scripture.
We’re going to divide this chapter into three portions, that’s the way it falls. The first part, Jesus is praying with regard to Himself. The second part, He is praying with regard to His disciples. The third part, He is praying with regard to the church. But just being involved in this prayer is an overwhelmingly thrilling spiritual blessing. The focal point of this prayer is the cross; that’s the centerpiece, and everything really flows from that.
The apostle Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of Christ.” And a hymn writer many years ago wrote these words, “In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time; all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.” The cross has always been the glorious centerpiece of Christianity – glorious to us, glorious to Christ, and glorious to God; and here in this section, particularly the first five verses, the Lord Jesus focuses on the glory of His cross, the glory from His perspective.
Now you know the background of the chapter I think. Jesus has just been in the upper room with His disciples...From chapter 13 to the end of chapter 16 is the table talk, Jesus giving the legacy to the twelve; in fact, to the eleven, Judas having at one point left to betray Christ. He promises them all of the great realities of spiritual life that belong to believers who are His. That table talk, that legacy, that series of great pledges and promises culminates at the end of chapter 16 in verse 33: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
With that pledge, that climactic promise of ultimate victory, Jesus ends His talks. He promised them peace. He promised them joy. He promised them support and supply. He promised them answered prayer. He promised them power. He promised them intimacy. He promised them the Holy Spirit. He promised them fellowship. He promised them trouble. But in the end, He pledged triumph.
But immediately upon that promise of ultimate victory comes this prayer in chapter 17. It is Jesus who is saying to us, “In order to transform the announced victory into reality requires the action of God. Things don’t just happen. They don’t just happen because God says they will, they happen because He makes them happen.” So Jesus turns to God and prays this prayer, focusing on the divine necessity for God to fulfill the promises Jesus has made. It’s the most thrilling prayer ever prayed in all the Bible, and you’ll see that as you are exposed to its wonders.
It is also true that as Jesus prays there’s one dominating event on His mind, and that’s the cross. The betrayal is going on at the very hour of this discourse. Judas is doing his deed. Jesus will soon face the soldiers, the prison, the scourging, the execution. This prayer really marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
But it also looks forward to His great work of intercession on behalf of all the believers of all the ages. It’s very transitional. It signs off on His earthly ministry and launches His intercession. In fact, if someone were to ask me, “What is the intercessory work of Jesus like?” They were perhaps reading in the book of Hebrews about the fact that we have a sympathetic, merciful High Priest who can be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, because He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. We have one who can succor us, who can comfort us, because He’s been where we’ve been in terms of the exigencies, vicissitudes, struggles, and pains of life.
But the book of Hebrews may exalt Him as priest and may talk of His priesthood in terms of definition, but if you want to see it in action you go to this chapter. Here the priest is interceding. Here then really is the first great intercessory work of Christ. Jesus could’ve prayed, by the way, silently, and we never would’ve known what He said. But I believe He spoke not only to tell us about this prayer, but to show us what His intercession is incessantly like.
This wonderful, beautiful prayer is an example of the communion, the communication that was constant on earth between the Son and the Father. And while it was an unbroken communion and an unbroken communication because They were one, there were points of time in the earthly ministry of Jesus when He engaged upon uniquely prolonged times of prayer. Luke 3:21 tells us while He was baptized He was praying. Mark 1:35 says that when He began His public ministry, He rose up a great while before day, went out and departed into a solitary place, and there He prayed. Luke 6:11 and 12 tells us that He was about to appoint the apostles, and wanting to do the Father’s will in making that selection it says He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. In fact, it was while He was praying that He was transfigured, according to Luke 9:29. And even while dying on the cross, according to Luke 23, He died with a prayer on His lips.
But in those cases, with the exception of the brief prayer at His death, which is recorded for us, we don’t know what He said. And we’re thankful for this chapter, because this lets us into the communion between Christ and God the Father. The whole prayer is recorded for us. It is an immense treasure, the Great High Priest interceding. And here we see His mediatorial work in action.
Now as we approach it, I want to take the first section, verses 1 to 5, in which the focus of His prayer is personal. He is praying in regard to Himself, but its implications touch even us, as does this whole chapter. Let’s look, first of all, at how it begins, verse 1: “These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said.” We’ll stop there.
“These things Jesus spoke,” or “these words” refer to 13 to 16. Everything He’d been saying in that Upper Room Discourse, all those table talks with the disciples, that was done now. He had signed that off with a promise of ultimate victory at the end of chapter 16. After having spoken those things, He turned away from His disciples, and lifted up His eyes to heaven. And here He is going to pray to the Father to bring to pass all redemptive purpose, to bring to pass the plan which was from eternity, to bring to reality all the pledges and promises that Jesus made.
And there’s something I can’t resist commenting on this point. I suppose if there was anyone we would assume would not need to pray such a prayer it would be Jesus since He was perfectly omniscient; and that is, He knew everything. He knew the mind of God, and He knew what God had promised. He knew what God was doing, and He knew what God would do, what’s the purpose in praying. And yet in His willing subjection and submission, He humbled Himself, restricted the exercise, the free exercise of His divine prerogative, submitted Himself to the Father’s will, and acting as a man as we must, knowing the Word of God did not cause Him to cease to pray, but passionately to call out to God to do what He had He had said He would do.
It’s reminiscent, isn’t it, of Daniel 9, where Daniel, reading the Scripture reminds himself by the reading of Jeremiah’s prophecy that the captivity of Israel must end at 70 years; and knowing the 70 years has passed, he pours out prayer to God and says, “O, God, do what You promised You would do.” That’s much of prayer. Prayer is lining up with God’s purposes. And if Jesus in His wonderful humiliation and submission came before God in prolonged and passionate intercession for God to do what God has pledged to do, how could we do less? When you have taught and when you have instructed and when you have set the example and when you have counseled, you must then pray, beseeching God, who is the power source for the accomplishment of all the truth that you have passed on.
John Calvin rightly said, “Doctrine has no power unless efficacy is imparted to it from above.” It’s not just sowing the Word, it’s not just watering the Word, but it is praying that God will give the increase. That’s why it is said of the apostles in Acts 6 that they gave themselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word. And so, Jesus lifted His eyes to heaven – a common posture for prayer, acknowledging God’s throne above, showing humility and subjection, the sign of a pure heart entering God’s glorious presence.
You remember the publican? He wouldn’t lift his head. He bowed it low and beat on his breast, and wouldn’t so much as look up, lest his gaze stain the purity of God’s throne. Not so Jesus, who in purity and perfect righteousness lifts His face to the Father above. He says, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast send. I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.”
First of all, He addresses God as “Father, Abba,” literally “Papa, Daddy,” a term of endearment used by a child for his parent; and it marks the close familiarity between Jesus and the Father. He speaks from the vantage point of His humiliation to God as His Father, and He says, “The hour has come.” Now that’s an amazing statement, and I want you to focus on it for a moment, because of its import to the understanding of this whole text.
Jesus was always conscious of the unfolding of redemptive history. There was never a moment of which He was not completely conscious. There was never an element within that moment, implied or explicit. There was never a reality that passed by Him the fullness of which He did not grasp. Every moment was part of a divine, unfolding scheme, and He was 100 percent and perfectly cognizant of every moment.
But there were some moments more monumental than others. History and its redemptive strain is the moment-by-moment materializing of the plan and will of God, and He knew the reality of all those moments, but there were some that were immensely more important. And here is the most important one. The hour has come. The hour; what hour? What time is it in redemptive history on the clock of unfolding, divine purpose? The hour is the crux of redemptive history. It is the event of the ages. It is the crossroads of two eternities meeting in wood.
The hour has come in which the Son of Man, Son of God, would end His humiliation, would terminate His labors by rendering the one and only atoning sacrifice for sin. The hour has come when He who knew no sin would be made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. It was the hour to fulfill all the great prophecies. It was the hour when the serpent’s head would finally be bruised. It was the hour when the one who came from Shiloh would finally take His scepter and reign. It was the hour when the greater son of David, son of Solomon, the Messiah would come to glory.
It was the hour when all of the symbols of sacrifice were finally fulfilled, when the true Lamb of God was slain for the sins of the world. It was the hour every prophet spoke of and every man longed for. It was the hour of triumph over the prince of this world, the kingdom of darkness. It was the hour of dismissing the old and ushering in the new. It is the hour for which Jesus came.
In John chapter 12 in verse 23, Jesus answered them saying, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Verse 27 of the same chapter, “Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Thy name.”
It is that hour, it is glory hour, it is the climax. It is the coup d’état. It is the Hierpunkt. It is the moment when God through Christ will blot out the curse, reconcile sinners to Himself, illuminate the obscured spiritual kingdom of Christ; and it would all be accomplished on a cross, as the King of Glory was nailed to wood and made sin for His beloved people to bear the wrath of those who hate God. And what a moment it was; the sun refused to shine, the earth rocked and reeled, the graves opened, and dead men came out.
To men, the cross appeared an instrument of shame; but to Christ, it was the moment of supreme glory. And so Jesus, looking at the cross says, “The hour has come; glorify Thy Son.” The world saw it as the shaming of Jesus Christ; and hell, no doubt, held high carnival as He was crucified there thinking they had won the day. Both were wrong perspectives. It was glory for Him, glory for Him. Jesus is simply praying, “Father, bring Me to the glory that shall be Mine at the cross by means of this event: my death, My resurrection, My subsequent ascension and coronation. Do it, Father; let it happen as planned in eternity past.”
Do you remember, before the foundation of the world, the Father predetermined to save a humanity that He would create, and to save that humanity for the express purpose of giving that redeemed and glorified humanity to Christ as a gift of love, so that they would forever reflect His glory, bearing His image, and would praise and glorify and serve Him through all eternity? The Father had made that pledge and that promise to give to the Son a redeemed humanity. He had written their names down in a book. The Son knew who they were and came into the world to pay the redemptive price so that the plan could come to pass. And the Son is now saying, “I know the plan. I ask You, Father, let it happen.”
Is this a selfish prayer that He might be glorified alone? No. Back to verse 1: “Glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee.” The Son would be glorified in providing the sacrifice for sin that brought the redeemed humanity to God, but God would also be glorified in that His plan was fully complete. The Son receives honor from His Father and gives it back. Christ’s prayer is utterly unselfish. Jesus wants to be glorified in order that He may give the Father glory. The cross and the crown will reveal not only the glory of the Son, but the glory of the Father.
In fact, when you look at the cross you see God on display like no place else; for it is at the cross that you see His love as He sends the Son to die in our place. It is there you see His grace. It is there you see His mercy. It is there you see His power over sin and death and hell and Satan. It is there you see His righteousness, because He cannot just pass by sin, there has to be a sacrifice. It is there you see His holiness as He turns his back on the sacrifice, the sin-bearing sacrifice. It is there you see His goodness as out of the mouth of Jesus comes those unforgettable words to that dying thief, “Today, you will be with Me in paradise,” and that most magnanimous statement, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
It is also on the cross that you see God’s glory on display in terms of wrath and justice and judgment. It is there that you see His wisdom made clear, because He has concocted such an amazing and astonishing plan to accomplish all of His purpose: “Put Yourself on display on the cross, even as You glorify Me there.”
So Christ is looking to His own glory, not in a selfish way, but in order that He might glorify the Father through that glory. And the question then comes in this text, “How is the Son glorified in the cross?” and the answer is threefold, and I’m going to give you three ways in which the Son was glorified in the cross. And it is to this that He prays: He is glorified, first of all, on the cross because, through it He provided eternal life, through it He provided eternal life.
Verses 2 and 3, “Father,” – He’s saying – “glorify Thy Son, even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” He says, “Father, glorify the Son in the cross as the means by which He will give eternal life.”
Here is the first, by the way, and the most obvious glory of the cross for which Christ is to be honored: by it, He provides eternal life. Because He died, we live. Verse 2 says that He has given authority. That authority is defined for us. It is an authority over all mankind, that to all of mankind whom the Father has given Him, He may give eternal life. It is the authority then to give to the elect eternal life.
He is then saying, “I want to do what we’ve planned to do. I want to be glorified as the source of eternal life. You gave Me power to give eternal life. You committed that power to Me.” In fact, He said that back in chapter 5 in one of His great discourses to the Jews, and He is only asking now for the Father to make a reality out of a promise. He requests to do what God has sent Him to do, and that is to give eternal life to the elect: “Let it be, Father, let it be.”
Someday, all chosen by the Father, all whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, all who believe, will receive that eternal life in its fullness. But even though we have yet to die and enter into the glories of heaven, we are already experiencing the fullness of eternal life in the sense of the true definition of that life.
Verse 3: “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” May I hasten to say, eternal life is not a quantity of life, it is a kind of life, it is a quality of existence. He says, “This is eternal life knowing You, Father, knowing You.” It was through the cross then that Jesus gives us the knowledge of God which lasts forever.
But notice that little phrase in verse 2, “to all whom Thou hast given Me.” That comes up again. It came up in John 6, you remember, if you’ve read through the gospel of John recently. In John 6, Jesus said, “All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me.” And I just want to point this out briefly.
To understand that our Sovereign God predetermined before time began, as Titus 1:1 and 2 tells us, our Sovereign God predetermined before time began that He would save a group of human beings, that He would bring a redeemed humanity to glory; and the reason was not for the sake of that humanity primarily, but secondarily. The primary reason for salvation is not you and I entering heaven, but rather, you and I being given to the Son as love gifts who forever and ever will praise and glorify and serve Him. In other words, the whole of saving purpose is in order that the Father may express His love to the Son, and He uses us as the gifts to do that. “All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me,” – Jesus said in John 6 – “and him that comes to Me, I’ll never turn away.” He would never spurn a love gift from the Father.
God chose us to be love gifts to His Son. And so, He says then in verse 2, “all whom Thou hast given Me.” Seven times in this chapter Jesus speaks of Christians as love gifts from the Father, seven times. “It is the Father’s determination to predestine us, to be conformed,” – Romans 8:29 – “to the image of His Son, that His Son might be the prōtotokos, the Supreme One among many who are like Him.” He wants a redeemed humanity who somehow as glorified humanity can reflect incarnate deity. We will be like Christ, as much as that is supernaturally possible. This is an immense reality.
Jesus looks at the cross and sees this entire scene: “Glorify Me by letting Me give them the eternal life, that they may fulfill the plan and purpose of being brought to glory to serve and worship Him as You have designed.” As Jesus Christ then is God’s love gift to the world, John 3:16, so believers are the Father’s love gift to the Son. Christ acknowledges that and says, “Father, I want to give them that life. Glorify Me in the cross, which makes it possible.”
Clearly, in the gospel of John, one of the main emphases is on Jesus as the giver of life. John 1:4, “In Him was life.” John 5:26, “He hath life in Himself.” John 5:40, “You will not come to Me that you might have life.” John 10:10, “I am come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly.” John 6:33 says, “He gives life,” 6:35-48, “He’s the bread of life,” 8:12, “He that follows Me shall have the Light of life,” 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life.” John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” And the whole purpose of this entire gospel summed up in chapter 20, verse 31, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing you may have life in His name.”
In fact, in 1 John chapter 5 and verse – well, verses 11 to 13, it tells us, “And this witness is that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who doesn’t have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” And then down in verse 20, He says Jesus Christ, His Son Jesus Christ, “This is the true God and eternal life.”
What is eternal life? It’s knowing God. It’s having Christ; and that’s eternal. So the first thing that Jesus anticipates in the cross is the glory that is His, as the dispenser of eternal life. “Father, give Me that glory,” He says.
Secondly, the Lord Jesus saw that He would be glorified in the cross in another way. Look at verse 4: “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.” Jesus knew, first of all, that He would be glorified in the cross by providing eternal life; secondly, by consummating perfect obedience, by consummating perfect obedience.
Verse 4 is a statement of the perfection of the life of Christ: “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.” In other words, Jesus said, “I did everything You asked Me to do. I never disobeyed anything.”
Here is an affirmation of the sinless perfection of Jesus Christ. He reminds the Father that He has been totally obedient. And it is so, as the writer of Hebrews says, He was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. It was the Father who commended Him most, it wasn’t Pilate, though Pilate said, “I find no fault in the Man.” It was the Father who commended Him most when the Father said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
At that time, He had lived thirty sinless years, and He lived three more. From the time He drew His first breath coming out of His mother’s womb until the moment of His execution, He never sinned a sin, He never had an evil thought, He never spoke an evil word. He lived a perfect life. He was submissive to the Father. He conformed Himself to the Father. He humbled Himself and became obedient, even when the Father said it meant to die, and even to die as a sacrifice for sin.
Do you remember when He was baptized, and John asked Him why He was being baptized? He said, “I must fulfill all righteousness.” What did He mean by that? It was imperative that Jesus live a perfect life, that He fulfill every righteous requirement of God, which includes for men baptism as a righteous act of obedience. It was imperative that Jesus live that perfect life. Why? In order that by justification that perfect life might be imputed to you.
Now, when Jesus died on the cross and rose again, He conquered death, and by that conquering provided eternal life. But it was His perfect life of obedience culminating in His willingness to die on the cross in submission to the Father that brought about the consummation of a perfect life. And when you put your faith in Jesus Christ the perfect life of Christ is imputed to you, it’s as if you lived it. On the cross, God treated Jesus as if He committed your sins, though He didn’t, so that He could treat you as if you lived His perfect life, though you didn’t. That’s imputation. That’s the doctrine of substitution.
Jesus came to live a perfect life, and the ultimate act to prove His obedience would go to any level was that He would be a sin-bearing sacrifice on the cross if the Father asked Him. He was glorified in the cross because by it He provided eternal life, and by it He demonstrated the complete commitment to an obedient life. And because of the glory of the cross, His powerful life, His ability to destroy death and hell and Satan transfers us into the kingdom of life, and His perfect righteousness is imputed to our account. God looks at me and sees the righteousness of Christ. God looks at me and sees me only as if I lived Christ’s perfect life.
You say, “How can He do that?” Because Jesus bore all my sin. He took my life and gave me His. And from God’s vantage point, He treated Jesus as if He’d lived my life, so He can treat me as if I lived His. That is monumental. Jesus says, “Get Me to the cross, so that I can provide eternal life and a culminating and consummated life of perfect obedience to be imputed to sinners.”
And then, thirdly, in verse 5, He says, “And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” The cross was a glory, because through it He provided eternal life, through it He provided perfect righteousness, and through it He personally returned to the Father. In other words, He was restored to the glory He enjoyed before the incarnation.
He is saying here, “I want to go back. The humiliation is over; the redemption is accomplished; the obedience is finished. I want to go back, pros ton theon, face-to-face with God. I want to go back to the equal glory that I enjoy with You before the world began.”
It’s the joy of a mission accomplished, and He wants the fellowship that He gave up. Salvation’s been provided, Satan’s been defeated, sin’s been destroyed, death has died, and now it’s time to go home to the Father; and Jesus sees in the cross the road to glory, because it provides eternal life, because it provides righteousness, and because it is the path back to the full glory where He can intercede for His own and bring them to glory. He asks no more glory than He already had, there isn’t any more. He just wants to go back into the Trinitarian relationship that He had before His willing humility. He wants His resurrection. He wants His coronation.
He wants the fulfillment of Philippians chapter 2, verse 9, “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,” – and that is the name Lord, by the way – “that at the name of Jesus” – which is Lord – “every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
He was like a knight, I guess, who left the King’s court to perform some perilous deed, and who having performed it, came home in triumph to enjoy the victor’s glory. Only that’s not quite it. He was like the King Himself who went out dressed as a knight to perform some perilous deed and came back to take His throne.
Jesus came to the cross. Yes, there were times in the garden when the overwhelming reality of the cross was riveting, and it literally caused Him to sweat as it were great drops of blood. There were times in the garden when the wrestling with this eminent reality was overwhelming, and He asked that if the Father would be so pleased and the plan could be accomplished another way, would the Father please excuse Him from this. But hastily said, “Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done.” There were moments of anticipation that we cannot fathom as the Sinless One anticipated bearing all the sins of all who would ever believe.
But the perspective here in John 17 was all the glory, all the joy of bringing about eternal life, of consummating a life of perfect obedience to be imputed to undeserving sinners who came in faith and received the gift of grace, of getting through the cross and out the tomb and into the Father’s presence, from which He could intercede for His own, continuing to meet all their needs, and someday to bring them to glory. He says to the Father in John 6 that His plan is to receive all that the Father gives, and raise them all, and bring them to glory. So as Christ looked at the moment of His death from His perspective, He sought the glory that would come to Him, and through Him would return to the Father whose plan it was in the beginning.
What does all this mean to you? Nothing if you reject Christ, nothing; it’s meaningless. But for those of us who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, we see the majesty of what our Christ has accomplished, don’t we, for us, and what He is accomplishing now seated at the right hand interceding for us. The cross was glory, because in it He provided our eternal life. The cross was glory, because in it He provided the perfect righteousness imputed to us. The cross was glory, because through it He ascended to the right hand of God, from which He intercedes for us to bring us to glory. And that’s just the part that pertains to Him; and it pertains to us.
For those who don’t know Christ, this means nothing. The most monumental event of human history, the most monumental moment in all the created universe means nothing. But to those who come to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and embrace Him, it means everything, and it settles our eternity.
Those of you who don’t know Christ, we would love to share with you the simple gospel, encouraging you to put your trust and faith in Him as Lord and Savior. And after the service is over, you can come to the prayer room over by the exit sign. There’ll be some folks there who’ll talk with you and pray with you. You do not need to die in your sins; Christ has made provision for you.
Starting in verse 6, Jesus begins to pray for His own. You come back tonight and we’ll take verses 6, Lord willing, through about verse 19. Let’s pray together.
Father, we echo the words of the hymn writer, “In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time; all the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.” It is the crossroads of two eternities in wood. It is the hour of all hours, the moment of all moments, when the Son of God purchased eternal life, eternal righteousness, and eternal glory for His own. O, we thank You for this glimpse into that glorious reality; and we are stunned by Your grace in saving us, overwhelmed by Your mercy, for we are utterly undeserving. We thank You that You treated Christ as if He had lived our lives, so that You could treat us as if we lived His; what grace.
Father, I pray for every person here, that those who do not know Christ may come to Him, and ask Him to save them from their sins, and to grant them eternal life, righteousness, and glory. For those who do possess those wonders, may our hearts be filled with praise and gratitude that translates into a life of obedience and honor to Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.
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