Lk.24:26 – Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?
You don’t really see the true character of an individual until their life comes under pressure. Tough times show us what we believe and who we are. Of course Jesus has to be the preeminent example. He was betrayed by one of His disciples, denied by His chief disciple, and abandoned by the rest. He was falsely accused by the spiritual leaders of Israel, mocked by Herod the king, and delivered into the hands of Pilate, the Roman Governor. He was beaten, scourged, spit upon, and punched in the face. He was forced to carry His own cross up Golgotha where He was crucified with traitors and murderers. In these worst moments His glory was the brightest. He forgave and encouraged the thief on the cross, comforted and gave direction to John, and prayed for forgiveness for His executioners. The way He died effected the centurion in charge of the execution who declared, “Surely this is the Son of God’. This is how Jonathan Edwards describes the glory of Christ in His suffering.
“And ’tis to be observed that all the virtues that appeared in Christ shone brightest in the close of his life under the trials he met with then. Eminent virtue always shines brightest in the fire, pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those trials that Christ underwent in the close of his life that his love to God, his honor of God’s majesty, and his regard to honor of his law, and his spirit of obedience, and his humility, and contempt of the world, and his patience, and his meekness, and spirit of forgiveness, and love towards men appeared. Indeed everything that Christ did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the close of his life. Here mainly is his satisfaction for sin, and here chiefly lies his merit of eternal life for sinners, and here chiefly appears the brightness of his example that he hath set us to follow.”
One look at this beautiful Savior and the way He died for us opens up heaven for us. It is the death of Christ that releases the glory of Christ. Calvary brought us the upper room where we taste the glory of the coming kingdom. As we follow Him and carry His cross in this life we also taste the glory of the coming kingdom.