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CHRIST’S GLORY IN HIS SAINTS
„He shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.”—2 Thess. 1:10
„It is necessary to remember the double meaning of that word „glorify.” Christ glorifies us by making us glorious. He sheds radiance and lustre from himself upon us. We glorify Christ by the exhibition of that reflected and derived light. If we help any dim eye to apprehend his goodness and truth, his perfect fairness and infinite beauty, then we glorify God. In this latter sense the word is employed here where the apostle is speaking about the wonderful things that are to accompany that great event, the coming of Jesus Christ. Like the eastern sun rising above the horizon, and compassed with rose-tinted clouds that derive all their lustre and color from his brightness, he in the midst of thousands of them that love and serve him, shall pour out a flood of glory upon the waiting and wondering world.
He shall come to be recognized as glorious, and to manifest forth his glory in his saints, and to be wondered at amongst all them that believe. Such shall be the illustrious beauty and strange perfectness of character with which Christ’s servants shall be arrayed at his manifestation, that all the universe looking at them will receive a loftier impression of what Christ himself is. That is the thought of the passage put into more modern though far weaker words. The idea that runs all through the New Testament is this—that so absolutely and indissolubly one are Christ and Christian people as that his destiny is their destiny and his character their character. There is a time coming when all who are in Christ shall be manifested in glory before the universe as part of the manifestation of Jesus Christ. When the hidden Christ, that is now lost in the blaze—the privacy of that inaccessible light, is manifested forth, then will all that love him shine forth, too. The light that was hidden below the obscuration and limitations of flesh—the life that was almost smothered by this animal and natural life—the life that was only faint and dim while in the world—that life shall blaze out free from all the obscurity and limitations, and with him be manifested in glory.
The present is like a dark lantern with the slide scarcely up at all, while that to which we are looking forward, is like the same lantern with the slide up. This is a wonderful metaphor in which the Master himself puts it—”Then shall the righteous blaze out like the sun in the kingdom of the Father.” You have seen the thing our Lord refers to. Some cloudy and dark day, with no color in the grass and flowers, the birds all silent, everything cold and gloomy, all at once some gust of wind or some thinning of the air canopy comes, and out streams the glad light, and everything awakens, scents and sounds; music of the birds, the grass gleams green again, and the waves of the sea glance in the sun as it blazes out upon it. So says Christ—the hidden light we carry shall gleam out in its true properties.
All that we are in the depths of our desires, and the imperfect but often infinite aspirations of our better selves—all that we are, shall blaze forth before all that are there to look. In the manifestation of the sons of God, the depths of their nature shall be brought visibly to all men, like the depths of some pure sea where you can behold the sun at the bottom sparkling upon every little bit of rock that may lie there.”—Alexander McLaren.
— January, 1884 —