“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:18)
What distinction is to be made between Christ, the Life – and Christ, the Living? Can we differentiate Christ into various categories of Being? Our text verse emphasizes the eternality of Christ, but creates an important link between His Death and His Glory.
“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26)
When speaking of His as yet future crucifixion, Jesus referred to it as the time of His glorification (John 12:23-25; 17:1). Of course, to all appearances, crucifixion is anything except glorious. It was one of the most brutal means of death ever devised by wicked men. Where then is the glory of the cross?
Through His suffering spiritual death on the cross (manifested by His physical death), Christ’s blood-atoning sacrifice obtained eternal redemption for us (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:12). But atonement and the forgiveness of sins only wipes the slate clean as the Just died for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18). There is still the matter of our spiritual condition; we have to be quickened by Him (Ephesians 2:1). This is where we see the importance of Christ’s death as a prerequisite to His glory.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:9-10)
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins… that he might bring us to God…” (1 Peter 3:18)
“And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)
Our Oneness with Christ (John 17:21-24) has to do with our identification with Him. Just as He suffered death and has entered into His glory, we also enter into His glory by identifying with His death.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
Our Oneness with Christ indicates being partakers of His Glory. As we’ve been brought to glory, we’ve also been brought to God. We are now partakers of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We are partakers of Him – His Glory, His Life, as well as His sufferings and death. The divine power of the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead indwells each of His quickened people (Romans 8:9). This power enables us to live a victorious Christian life for His Glory.
Christ’s death and burial were necessary preliminaries to His resurrection. That He died for our sins and then rose again to be our forever-living Lord and Saviour is the heart of the Gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Because He lives forever, we have comfort and confidence in everlasting life (Hebrews 7:25). Because He lives forever, we too shall live forever. Because He lives forever, we experience His ever-living Presence in us and with us as we behold the Glory and Oneness of His Life.
This devotion was originally posted on September 3, 2013. It is part of one of our Devotion Series. Please click on this link to read more of the devotions in this series: Portraits of Christ