“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
These words were addressed by our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father, but a very short time before he was delivered up into the hands of his enemies to be crucified. Already, as the preceding connection of our text records, he had for the last time eaten the passover with his disciples, given the sop to Judas, and Judas was at this very time negotiating with the enemies to betray his Lord into their hands. The supper, commemorative of that dreadful night, or rather of the events of that time had been instituted, the bread had been broken, and the wine, which was to signify his blood in the New Testament, had been drank, the solemn hymn had been sung, and the solitary retreat to the Mount of Olives gained, and the last instructions to his disciples which they were to receive before his death had been imparted. This done, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and addressed the Father, and in that address used the words of our text, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
To know the deep emotion of his soul, or to describe the bitterness of that cup, which was pressed to his lips, the dregs of which he must drink before he could enter into his glory, is beyond the ability of men or angels to describe. But while his words express his desire to the Father, they are also full of instruction to his people.
It is thought by many, that this and similar prayers of our Redeemer, were addressed by the humanity of Christ to his divinity, or that as the second distinct person in the Godhead, the prayer was addressed to the first person of the trinity of persons. Neither of these views are clear to our understanding. If by human nature is intended that flesh which he was made, when he was made of a woman, or that which was born of the virgin, for in whatever sense Christ is identified in uttering this prayer, in that very identity he had before his incarnation been glorified with the Father’s own self, and had come out from the Father, manifestly as the Son of God, for so he had manifested this secret to the men whom the Father had given him out of the world, and they had known surely that he came out from the Father, and believed that the Father sent him. (See verses six, seven and eight.) None, we presume, will claim that what is commonly called the human nature of Christ, came out from the Father, in the sense here expressed, but that in this sense his humanity evidently sprang out of Judah.
2. If we take the other view, that it was as the second person of the Trinity, he came out from, and was sent by the Father, another difficulty meets us, in which we are unable to reconcile his perfect and eternal equality with the Father in the eternal Godhead, with his emanation or his coming out from, and the subordination to the Father, or asking his petition of the Father. But, in perfect harmony with the Bible doctrine of his full equality with the Father in eternal Godhead, and his incarnation in which he took part of the same flesh and blood which his children are partakers of, we learn from the Scriptures that he stood in mediatorial relation both to the Father and the church, as the Day’s Man who could lay his hand on both, and that it was in reference to his mediatorial sonship that he said he had come out from the Father, and that he was sent by the Father, not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him, and to finish the work. As the mediatorial Head and life of the church which is his body, he had all that glory with the Father before the world was, which in our text he asks for, and has received, and shall possess when this world shall be no more. Before the world was, he was glorified with the Father’s own self, and he is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and express image of his person. For the word was with God, and the word was God, and he who was the word was put to death in the flesh, bear the sins of his people in his own body, and God was manifest in the flesh. And when his body was locked in the cold embrace of death and the grave, his flesh saw no corruption, in that self-same body he was raised from the dead, and ascended up into heaven, and in that risen and glorified body he has now the glory of eternal, uncreated, underived, unbegotten, selfexistent, independent and everlasting Godhead, which he had with the Father before the world was, no more, nor any less, is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Thus, to us, he is clearly the God Man, and Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, the Man of God’s right hand, whom he hath made strong for himself, the anointed of the Father, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
“Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended, first into the lower parts of the earth?” When he descended, he that was rich became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. He took on him the form of a servant, learned obedience, and filled the character of a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, poured out his strong cries and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and finally poured out his soul unto death, and in doing so cried with a loud voice, “It is finished!” and yielded up the ghost. But having now suffered these things, he must enter into his glory, which is the glory of the Father’s own self, which he had with the Father before the world was. For this joy which was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now set down on the right hand of the throne of God. Thus it behooved him to suffer, and then to enter into his glory, where,
“No more the bloody spear -
The cross and nails no more,”
shall ever pierce his hands, his feet, his heart. He is now made higher than the heavens, and reigns forever on the throne with the Father.
“Though they are known by different names,
The Father God, and God the Son,”
yet so inseparable and identical that he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father also, for he is in the Father, and the Father is in him.
One consideration more we will notice briefly in closing this article. The appeal in our text embodies the perfect intercession of Christ as based on the perfect work which he had completed, and this he asks, knowing that he is always heard. The consummation of the mediatorial glory of the Son of God, is not to add unto him one single member, that was not in him when he was set up in mediatorial headship over all things to his church, which is his body, and the fullness of him that filleth all in all. He prays not for the world, but for them whom the Father had given him out of the world; and he prays that they may be one with him, even as he and his Father are one. This intercessory prayer is according to the immutable will of the Father; and, therefore, when all the saints shall be brought into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ, he will have the same glory, in his members as well as in identity with the Father in eternal Godhead, that he had before the word was, and no more. Or, in other words, he had the same glory before the world was, in all respects, as he asks for or desires.
Such are our views on this sublime and heavenly subject, compare them with the infallible standard of truth, and if they be not sustained by the Scriptures, cast them from you, but if you find them clearly sustained by the Scriptures, bind them to your heart, and rejoice
“That worms of earth should ever be
One with incarnate Deity.”
Middletown, N. Y.
Feb. 15, 1856.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 301 - 304