Most Glorious of All
This is a song about the glory of God, especially as demonstrated by the cross.
Most Glorious of All lead sheet in new window
Our God is glorious!!
We immediately think of His glory when we see beauty in the earth. If His creation is glorious, then it implies He is much more glorious!
Also in the past, the Bible tells of of times that He has shown His presence to individuals and to his people. (e.g. Moses, Israel after leaving Egypt, Isaiah, Jesus' disciples: Peter, James & John) God's glorious presence to these people was completely overwhelming!
Both of these kinds of situations tell us about God. However, the one event that tells us the most about God was Jesus' death for us on the cross. The cross is better than observing nature or just being in God's presence because it better teaches us about who God is - about His values and about His heart.
Jesus willingly went to the cross because he loved us so much. Although His actions would come at great personal cost, he went because our needs were so great.
We are all born trying to create our own little kingdom in this world by implementing our own self-interested value system. The problem is that no one else shares that same value (interest in me), so we are solitary in our own kingdom. Ultimately, we are all condemned to loneliness in this state - both in this life and (more significantly) in the life afterward.
God has an unselfish value system of sacrificial love for others. Since all relationships are built on common value systems, to have a relationship with God would require a change of values. We must adopt God's value system - a transformation of ourselves. We could then have a relationship with God and good relationships with anybody else also adopting God's values. This solves our loneliness both on this earth and afterward!
Expanding this idea: Jesus is the King of a spiritual Kingdom. We enter the Kingdom by believing that Jesus is King, and by adopting His value system. This Kingdom is simultaneously parallel to the kingdoms (countries) of this world. Being in God's Kingdom is being in heaven because heaven is where God's will is done (Mt 6:10 - if we have God's values, we do His will). Therefore we can start to be in heaven while still on this earth through the adoption of His values. And conversely we can start to be in hell here as well by following our values (that separate us from everyone else).
Jesus planned to go to the cross, though he knew it would not be a happy experience. He knew it would be painful to his body. However, more significantly his relationship to God the Father would be very painfully broken (in substitution for us). (Mt 26:38-44) And yet He said this was to be His glory! (Jn 12:23-28) What an amazing and non-intuitive statement!
The cross was necessary for us to be able to have restored relationship with God. In accomplishing this, the cross also fully demonstrated God's unselfish value system. Therefore this event best reveals to us who God is. It is much better than just seeing His amazing creativity in nature, or surviving an encounter with his amazing presence. In the cross we see his heart motivations - active loving unselfishness.
God is glorious and anything that reveals Him to us is glorious. Nothing else reveals God to us like the cross. Therefore astoundingly, the cross is the most glorious thing of all!
(For more, see the Sermon on 2008/06/15: John 12:20-50.)