How Christmas Reveals the Glory of God
Isaiah foretells of the glory
On the heels of Christmas, as my family and I were going through our daily Advent readings, we came across this passage from Isaiah, “A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together,’ for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isa 40: 3-5).
I sat and discussed this verse with my children and one of them asked, “Daddy where is Jesus in this verse?” I hesitated for a moment as my eyes quickly scanned the passage again, and again until I realized the indirect reference to Jesus in the words, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed“. Without calling him by name Isaiah wonderfully describes Jesus as the glory of the Lord.
This Advent season as we remember and celebrate the immaculate conception, the incarnation, the birth of Jesus, Immanuel, our Savior and King…let’s also remember that the entrance of Jesus into this world marked an unparalleled revelation of the Glory of God!
Moses was so enthralled with God that in the thirty-third chapter of Exodus, he asked the Lord a very bold question. The Bible reads, “Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory’” (Ex 33:18). God responded by allowing his goodness to pass before Moses whom he hid in a rock. Moses saw God’s back but his face was kept from him.
With the coming of the Son of God, we see the answer to the prayer of Moses in fullness. What Moses saw only in part God revealed in the fullness of time to all flesh. You might ask, “when did this happen?” The answer is, it happened that very first Christmas when Jesus Christ, who is the glory of God was revealed to the world.
The glory of God among us
The promise of God through the prophet Isaiah was that all flesh would see the glory of the Lord together. The Apostle John testifies of this truth when he writes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He says that we have seen his glory and that glory is the glory of the Son which is from the Father.
2 Corinthians 4:6
In Jesus, we have not just the glory and the goodness of God declared like it was before Moses, but we have it revealed in a person. Consider this verse:
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). This sovereign act of shining light into our hearts is the reason some conceived plots against Jesus and others clung to him. When God acts in this way toward us we realize something that has been true since before the beginning of time…that Jesus is the most beautiful and glorious person there could ever be! You begin to understand why Angels worship him and the twenty-four elders cast their crowns at his feet! You feel the heavenly urge to join the divine hosts and sing his praises forevermore as the supreme pleasure of your eternal existence and rightly so.
A better prayer
If this is true of you this Christmas season then you are a small part of that unnamed group of people that Isaiah prophesied about who would see the glory of God revealed. We no longer have to pray, as Moses did, “show me your glory.” We have a far superior prayer, “Show me, Jesus!”
Be thankful to him and bless his name
As you spend time reflecting on the Savior this Christmas, be sure to thank him for sending his Son into that manger where the first few people saw him, then to the villages and towns around Jerusalem where more people saw him, then to the cross whereby his death God makes many see. Remember the day God opened the eyes of your heart to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus and be thankful. Praise him with the heavenly hosts and be ever thankful that God revealed his glory to you in his Son, Jesus who is the Christ.
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