Ellen G. White Writings

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The Signs of the Times

May 10, 1899

Christ Glorified

“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. As Thou has given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou has sent. I have glorified Thee on the earth; I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.”

This is a plain statement of the pre-existence of Christ. Had He not had an existence before He assumed human nature, how could He possess glory with the Father before the world was? This is a grand theme for all to contemplate who are searching for truth. The Holy Spirit will be beside all such, to present to them the glory of this wonderful truth. O, that the human mind might be strengthened that it might comprehend the glory of the Redeemer!

Christ is not praying for the manifestation of the glory of human nature; for that human nature never had an existence in His pre-existence. He is praying to His Father in regard to a glory possessed in His oneness with God. His prayer is that of a mediator; the favor He entreats is the manifestation of that divine glory which was possessed by Him when He was one with God. Let the vail be removed, He says, and let My glory shine forth,—the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.

Christ defines the manner in which He has glorified the Father: “I have manifested Thy name unto the men which Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me; and they have kept Thy Word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever Thou hast given Me are of Thee.”

How did the Father answer Christ's prayer?

For a period of time Christ was on probation. He took humanity on Himself, to stand the test and trial which the first Adam failed to endure. Had He failed in His test and trial, He would have been disobedient to the voice of God, and the world would have been lost.

Satan has asserted that men could not keep the commandments of God. To prove that they could, Christ became a man, and lived a life of perfect obedience, an evidence to sinful human beings, to the worlds unfallen, and to the heavenly angels, that man could keep God's law through the divine power that is abundantly provided for all that believe. In order to reveal God to the world, to demonstrate as true that which Satan has denied, Christ volunteered to take humanity, and in His power, humanity can obey God. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” All heaven is Christ's to give to the world.

Christ emptied Himself of His honored position in the heavenly courts. He became a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He was, as we are, subject to the enemy's temptations. Satan exulted when Christ became a human being, and he compassed His path with every conceivable temptation. Human weakness and tears were His portion; but He sought unto God, praying with His whole soul, with strong crying and tears; and He was heard in that He feared. The subtlety of the enemy could not ensnare Him while He made God His trust, and was obedient to His words. “The prince of this world cometh,” He said, “and hath nothing in Me.” He can find nothing in Me which responds to his sophistry.

Amid impurity, Christ maintained His purity. Satan could not stain or corrupt it. His character revealed a perfect hatred for sin. It was His holiness that stirred against Him all the passion of a profligate world; for by His perfect life He threw upon the world a perpetual reproach, and made manifest the contrast between transgression and the pure, spotless righteousness of One that knew no sin. This heavenly purity annoyed the apostate foe as nothing else could do, and he followed Christ day by day, using in his work the people that claimed to have a superior purity and knowledge of God, putting into their hearts a spirit of hatred against Christ, and tempting His disciples to betray and forsake Him.

Christ was buffeted with temptations, and convulsed with agony. He was lacerated with stripes, crowned with thorns, and crucified. The fallen foe, once exalted to heaven, bruised Christ's heel, but this was all he could do. While engaged in doing despite to Christ, his head was being bruised. While enduring the contradiction of sinners against Himself, Christ was filled with sorrow and anguish. This was represented as the bruising of His heel. A pain, heavier than ever oppressed another, was weighing down His humanity.

But although Christ's divine glory was for a time veiled and eclipsed by His assuming humanity, yet He did not cease to be God when He became man. The human did not take the place of the divine, nor the divine of the human. This is the mystery of godliness. The two expressions human and divine were, in Christ, closely and inseparably one, and yet they had a distinct individuality. Though Christ humbled Himself to become man, the Godhead was still His own. His Deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty. Surrounded with sorrow, suffering, and moral pollution, despised and rejected by the people to whom had been intrusted the oracles of heaven, Jesus could yet speak of Himself as the Son of man in heaven. He was ready to take once more His divine glory when His work on earth was done.

There were occasions when Jesus stood forth while in human flesh as the Son of God. Divinity flashed through humanity, and was seen by the scoffing priests and rulers. Was it acknowledged? Some acknowledged that He was the Christ, but the larger portion of those who upon these special occasions were forced to see that He was the Son of God, refused to receive Him. Their blindness corresponded to their determined resistance of conviction.

When Christ's indwelling glory flashed forth, it was too intense for His pure and perfect humanity entirely to conceal. The scribes and Pharisees did not speak in acknowledgment of Him, but their enmity and hatred were baffled as His majesty shone forth. The truth, obscured as it was by a vail of humiliation, spoke to every heart with unmistakable evidence. This led to the words of Christ, “Ye know who I am.” Men and devils were compelled, by the shining forth of His glory, to confess, “Truly, this is the Son of God.” Thus God was revealed: thus Christ was glorified.

By raising Christ from the dead, the Father glorified His Son before the Roman guard, before the Satanic host, and before the heavenly universe. A mighty angel, clothed with the panoply of heaven, descended, scattering the darkness from his track, and, breaking the Roman seal, rolled back the stone from the sepulcher as if it had been a pebble, undoing in a moment the work that the enemy had done. The voice of God was heard, calling Christ from His prison-house. The Roman guard saw heavenly angels falling in reverence before Him whom they had crucified, and He proclaimed above the rent sepulcher of Joseph, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Can we be surprised that the soldiers fell as dead men to the earth?

Christ's ascension to heaven, amid a cloud of heavenly angels, glorified Him. His concealed glory shone forth with all the brightness that mortal man could endure and live. He came to our world as a man; He ascended to His heavenly home as God. His human life was full of sorrow and grief, because of His cruel rejection by those He came to save; but men were permitted to see Him strengthened, to behold Him ascending in glory and triumph, surrounded by a convoy of angels. The same holy beings that announced His advent to the world were permitted to attend Him at His ascension, and to demand a triumphal entrance for the royal and glorified Being. “Lift up your heads, O ye gates,” they cry as they near the heavenly portals; “and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.” The angels at the gates respond in lofty strain, “Who is this King of glory?” And from thousands and ten thousands of voices the answer comes: “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.” Again the angels at the gates cry, “Who is this King of glory?” and again the response swells triumphantly upward, “The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.”

Thus the prayer of Christ was answered. He was glorified with the glory which He had with His Father before the world was. But amid this glory, Christ does not lose sight of His toiling, struggling ones upon earth. He has a request to make of His Father. He waves back the heavenly host until He is in the direct presence of Jehovah, and then He presents His petition in behalf of His chosen ones.

Father,” He says, “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” And then the Father declares, “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” The heavenly host prostrate themselves before Him, and raise their song of triumph and joy. Glory encircles the King of heaven, and was beheld by all the heavenly intelligences. No words can describe the scene which took place as the Son of God was publicly reinstated in the place of honor and glory which He voluntarily left when He became a man.

And today Christ, glorified, and yet our Brother is our Advocate in the courts of heaven. “In all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” “We have not an high priest which can not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” “For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succor them that are tempted.” “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Mrs. E. G. White

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