The Hearing of Faith
The Lord Jesus, right before His crucifixion, prayed to the Father, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You (John 17:1). In answer to His prayer that the Father would glorify Him, the Father resurrected the Lord Jesus from the dead. Therefore, the significance of Christ’s glorification is related to His death and resurrection. In fact, we may say that Christ’s resurrection is His glorification (Acts 3:13a; John 13:31-32; Luke 24:26).
On the day of the Lord’s resurrection, two of the Lord’s disciples were walking from Jerusalem toward Emmaus, disappointed, discouraged, and confused by the events surrounding His death. As they walked, the resurrected Lord Himself joined them and questioned them about the things they were saying. After the disciples explained to Him the reason for their sorrow and perplexity, He said to them, “O foolish and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25-26). For Christ to enter into His glory was for Him to enter into His resurrection.
Christ’s resurrection is His glorification.
That was not the first time the Lord Jesus directly linked His suffering of death and His resurrection to His glorification. A week before His crucifixion, as great throngs of people were welcoming Him and seeking Him, the Lord Jesus declared, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). How would He be glorified? The disciples might have thought He meant He was about to establish His kingdom on the earth. Instead, the Lord continued to say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). The Lord Jesus indicated here that His being glorified would be through His death and resurrection.
In John 12 the Lord Jesus likened Himself to a grain of wheat. When a grain of wheat, a seed, is planted into the ground, its outer shell decays and dies, but the life essence and life power contained in the seed sprouts, grows, and produces fruit. In His incarnation, the divine life and divine glory of Christ were concealed and even restricted in the “shell” of His humanity. When the Lord Jesus was crucified, that was His falling into the ground to die. His humanity, like the outer shell of a seed, was “planted” and broken in His death. His death then became His release, releasing and manifesting His divine life which had been confined and hidden in the shell of His humanity. This release through death was what the Lord Jesus longed for when He said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how I am pressed until it is accomplished” (Luke 12:50; cf. Mark 10:38).
Then in Christ’s resurrection, His glorification, He became the life-giving Spirit (John 7:39; 1 Cor. 15:45b) and dispensed His life into His believers, regenerating them to produce them as the many grains, His fruit (1 Pet. 1:3). These many grains have become His increase, His multiplication, which is the church, as the full expression and glorification of God (Eph. 3:21).
For further reading on this subject, please see the footnotes for the above referenced verses in the New Testament Recovery Version and The Issue of Christ Being Glorified by the Father with the Divine Glory, by Witness Lee, both published by Living Stream Ministry.
From Issue No. 39, July 2001