I did a random Google search of the word “glory” the other day. Several hits came up, like the 1989 movie starring Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington about the Civil War, or Bruce Springsteen’s song “Glory Days”, or Brittney Spears’ 2016 CD, or the Glory Kickboxing League. I thought “glory” was a Bible word, in reference to God, His power and majesty? We can do better than pop-culture if we want to know about God’s glory and the impact it has on our lives.
In one of the clearest displays of God’s glory, Jesus was transfigured (Luke 9:28-36). The appearance of His face was altered and His clothing became dazzling white. Moses and Elijah, of the Old Testament, appeared in glory and spoke with Him about His upcoming death and resurrection. A cloud overshadowed them all and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” It was an amazing event to see! Jesus did not become these things, it was not a spotlight shining on Him, but light that radiated out; He is the source of the light. This is always who He was, on the inside, and He was letting His true self and glory shine forth. This is to see Him as He really is.
What does this mean for us today? Seeing His glory results in “listening to Him.” It requires repentance and obedience and being His disciple in all aspects of our lives, in parenting, marriage, singleness, schooling, and work. It affects how we spend our time and money, the manner of our speech, and entertainment choices we make. There is no area of our lives untouched when we behold His glory. Seeing His glory also has future implications. Believers and followers of Christ identify with Him in death and resurrection. As He was transfigured in glory, so to are we being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. One day Christ will return and transform His people’s lowly bodies to be like His glorious body, and our transformation will be complete. This is our hope, assurance, and comfort, through any suffering or struggling we may face. We can fully lean on Jesus’ name as we live life and wait for Him. Those who are not following Christ will also receive new bodies, but be cast out to live in suffering, God’s wrath, and hell.
Glory is more than a movie or song or sports event. Glory is more like the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, or a beautiful South Dakota sunset over the Missouri River. Glory is God’s beauty and power and majesty, seen in Christ, and to be experienced by us. It is hope and strength as we make our way closer to eternal life with Him.