The Shadow of Glory

9.3.14

All summer long some friends and I have had a blog tour. We have been writing on The Glory of the Son. I appreciate each post and the effort put into sharing some thoughts about Jesus that would bless many. This is the end of the tour. As the organizer, I decided to give myself the last post. A full list is available HERE

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No believer would dispute the Glory of the Son of God! Jesus Christ existed in the glory of heaven but turned it loose to come to earth and live as a man. His glory was no less evident as he healed, loved, taught, touched, and lived a sinless life. The purity and clarity of his life is contrasted sharply by the brutal beatings and crucifixion that brought about his death. Not just any death, but a death in our place, for us. If that were the end of the story it would be a good story, but not a great one. It is the resurrection that declares powerfully the truth that Jesus is the Messiah who came to save the world from its sins.

We’ve heard the gospel message so often in our lives that it sometimes loses the edge.  Think for a few minutes about the bewildered disciples after the burial of Jesus. Shell-shocked from the unbelievable truth that Jesus died. It must have been so overwhelming that all of his talk of resurrection seems to have been lost on them.

The women who came to embalm the body of Jesus were the first on the scene on that resurrection morning. They did not come to witness a resurrection. They were just doing what they do for the bodies of dead loved ones.  The  message of angels and an empty tomb sent them running to Peter to tell him that something had happened.

Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he stooped to look in, he saw only the linen cloths. So he went home, amazed at what had happened. ~Luke 24:12

Yes, Peter was amazed. So amazed that he…just…went home. Deflated from his repulsive denial of Jesus, the adventurous spirit seems to have been drawn from his faith.  I think that here, in the shadow of glory, we find ourselves at times.

*Believing, but not acting on our beliefs.

*Disappointed in our own sin, and wondering if it was too much to forgive this time.

*Observant of the evidence, but allowing doubt to reside in our thinking.

The story of Peter is not over by any means. When Jesus told him he was a ‘rock’, he was certainly going to become such. But for now he will have to spend some time in the shadow of glory. The blinding brilliance of the glory of Jesus would come at some point, but for now there is just acknowledgment … and I imagine a smile. He believed. He was amazed. He went home.

If you’re spending time in the shadow of glory, just remember that in this time of wondering Jesus did not reject Peter. He did not express disappointment in him. He still saw Peter as a valuable and needed disciple. And so He sees this in you, even when you do not see it in yourself.  This is demonstrated because Jesus does come for Peter and point him in the right direction. In some way, Jesus is coming for you. Be watchful. Like some of the post-resurrection appearances you may not recognize Him. Just listen for His voice. He’s got a job for you.

In the shadow of glory do not despair. Jesus is not disappointed. He is about to reassign you in His kingdom work.

Thanks for reading, John.

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