What is The Glorification of Christ?

What Is The Glorification of Christ?

Mr. Vinson,

I have been reading your website for a while now, and I have been tremendously blessed by it…thank you.

I have a question for you. When was Jesus glorified? Was it at His ascension? Was it at His resurrection? Some claim that Jesus, after His resurrection, was in His glorified body. John 7:39 says “up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 12:16 says “Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him.” I’m thinking that it was at his ascension because I think that the giving of the Spirit which is mentioned in John 7 is that which is spoken of in John 16:7 and Acts 2:33-36. “It is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you.”

So…Christ could not send the Comforter until He departed and was reunited with the Father and His glory which He had with the Father before the world was. This would mean that whatever Christ’s form was between His resurrection and ascension, it was not in His glorified form or should I say Him in His full glory. It seems to me that orthodox Christianity uses the terms resurrection and glorification synonymously, and I don’t think that is correct, but to be honest with you I am having a hard time articulating why.

Obviously those who are raised in the second resurrection are not glorified (yet), so just because we are raised doesn’t automatically mean that we are glorified. Romans 8:17 says “The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may be glorified with Him.” I guess I am just having a hard time wrapping my brain around what glorification actually is? What is the hope of glory? When was Christ glorified? When will we be glorified if we are His first fruits? Any help and clarity that you could offer would be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you,

M____

Hi M____,

Thank you for your question.

You ask: “When was Jesus glorified? Was it at His ascension? Was it at His resurrection? Some claim that Jesus, after His resurrection, was in His glorified body.”

Here are all the verses you reference in this e-mail as you struggle to understand this question. I have included a few verses before and after the verses you reference just to give some context, and I have emboldened some words so we can be sure to notice the point being made in that verse:

Joh 7:37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
Joh 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Joh 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Joh 7:40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
Joh 7:41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
Joh 7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
Joh 7:43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

Joh 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Joh 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Joh 12:14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
Joh 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.
Joh 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

Joh 16:4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
Joh 16:5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
Joh 16:6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Act 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Act 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Act 2:35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
Act 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

You say “I guess I am just having a hard time wrapping my brain around what glorification actually is? When was Christ glorified? When will we be glorified if we are His first fruits?”

The first thing we need to acknowledge is that Christ was glorified before the holy spirit came on the day of Pentecost, because, as you point out:

Joh 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The holy ghost could not be given until after Christ was glorified. Acts 2 tells us that Christ is now “by the right hand of God exalted… [and] that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”

Since the holy spirit had just been given to the 120 disciples assembled together, we know that Christ’s glorification had already taken place. There can be nothing more glorious than being “by the right hand of God exalted, and being made both Lord and Christ”. This was all accomplished through the death and resurrection of Christ. There would have been no glorification without those two events.

It appears to me that you are confusing Christ’s glorification with the physical bodies in which He appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. Glorification is much more a matter of spiritual position than it is of physical composition or physical appearance. Being spirit, out of which the things that are seen are made, Christ was capable of appearing in any form He chose, and that is what we are told He did. Here are a few examples of the various forms in which He appeared after His resurrection and after His glorification “by the right hand of God”:

Joh 20:14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
Joh 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

This is Mary Magdalene:

Joh 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Mary knew Christ very well. She knew both His voice and His face, yet “she supposed Him to be the gardener”. This may seem strange, but it is much easier to understand when we realize that Christ later that same day, did the same thing again, deliberately appearing “in another form”:

Luk 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

Luk 24:12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
Luk 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
Luk 24:14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
Luk 24:15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
Luk 24:16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
Luk 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
Luk 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luk 24:19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
Luk 24:20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
Luk 24:21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
Luk 24:22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
Luk 24:23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
Luk 24:24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
Luk 24:25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Luk 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luk 24:28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
Luk 24:29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
Luk 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
Luk 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Luk 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
Luk 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
Luk 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
Luk 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

The “two of them” of verse 13 refers back to “the eleven, and to all the rest” of verse 9. “The eleven and all the rest” refers to Christ’s most loyal followers who had assembled themselves together for consolation after His crucifixion. The point is that these people knew Christ very well and would easily have known Him had He not “appeared in another form”.

Mar 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.

Verse 33 of Luke 24 tells us “they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them”. At this time, Christ chose to appear to them all just as they had always known Him, and we are told in the very next verses:

Luk 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Luk 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
Luk 24:38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Luk 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

“It is raised a spiritual body”, and Christ was just such a “raised… body”, yet in that state He was capable of appearing in any form He chose, and in this case He appeared as the Jesus they all knew… “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see”.

There is yet one more example of Christ appearing in “another form” which took place by the Sea of Galilee after the disciples had returned to their previous fishing employment:

Joh 21:1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
Joh 21:2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
Joh 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
Joh 21:4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
Joh 21:5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
Joh 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
Joh 21:7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
Joh 21:8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
Joh 21:9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
Joh 21:10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
Joh 21:11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
Joh 21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
Joh 21:13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
Joh 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

Verse 6 tells us:

Joh 21:6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

“Them” included John “that disciple whom Jesus loved”, and even he did not know he was talking to Christ until the net was full of fish again, like it was when Christ first call James, Peter and John. Notice this incredible statement which concerns a man with whom these men had worked for the past three and a half years:

Joh 21:12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

The point Christ is making in appearing in different forms is that He is in His body, and He wants us to know that He considers those in whom He dwells to be “Jesus of Nazareth”.

Act 22:7 And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 22:8 And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

Saul, later to be renamed Paul, had been actively persecuting those in the church. Jesus had long been resurrected and glorified, but He asked Saul “why persecutest thou ME?” Christ was certainly glorified when He first appeared to the apostle Paul:

Act 9:3 And as he [Saul of Tarsus who became the apostle Paul] journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

Here is what Paul had to say about the glory of the light that was Christ when He first appeared to him:

Act 22:11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus.

My point in showing you all of this is that Christ’s glory is the result of His suffering because He obeyed His Father. He shed His blood rather than deny the Words of His Father. That is the glory of our Lord, and in that glorified state He is capable of, and is even now appearing in any form which is suitable to the situation in which He places Himself. Even when He places Himself within us, His saints:

Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The glory of Christ and His Father is “the things which are not seen”, by this world, just as Phillip could not “see the Father”, until Christ “opened the eyes… of his understanding”. So when Christ was glorified is not nearly as important as how He is glorified, because “the riches of [that] glory of His inheritance [is] in the saints” in whom He dwells.

Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

The word ‘places’ is not in the Greek. We are even now “seated with Christ in the heavens [in] earnest [Eph 1:13-14].

Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

This world did not and does not recognize the glorified Christ as yet. But to those who are granted the faith, they do see Him in that glorified state already, just as they have “seen Christ [and] have seen the Father” already:

Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

I hope all these verses of scripture have helped you to to see more clearly what it is that makes Christ and His Father glorious, and that you are better able to understand that “seeing” Christ’s glory is not a physically blinding experience except for those who are completely opposed to Him, as was Saul of Tarsus. While the glory of that “light” caused Saul of Tarsus complete and total blindness, “the eyes of the understanding [of the apostle Paul were being] enlightened [to] know… the riches of the glory of [Christ’s] inheritance [which is] in the saints”.

Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

It is my prayer that I have helped you see that the moment of Christ’s glorification is not nearly as important as understanding what is His glory, so you are given to believe that “the riches of the glory of His inheritance [is actually] in the saints”, that is, His glory is actually within you and me, if indeed we are His saints.

If indeed you are given to see this, then “flesh and blood has not shown this unto you but [our] Father which is in heaven”. On the other hand, if He has not given you eyes to see and ears to hear the mysteries of the kingdom of God, then no matter how these spiritual truths are presented, you “cannot hear” them, and you will not understand them “because they are spiritually discerned”.

Mat 13:9 Who hath [been given] ears to hear, let him hear.
Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Mat 13:12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

It is my prayer you have been given “ears that hear [and] eyes that see” the mystery of the glorification of Christ “in his saints”.

Your brother in that glorified Christ,

Mike

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