This is part 3 of a series and so deals with a second reason for Jesus dying on the cross as found in John 17:1-5. You can read part 1 here. You can read part 2 here.
Reason 3: Jesus dies on the cross so that he might be exalted into glory with the Father.
The Father is glorified in Jesus finishing the work the Father gave Him.
John 17:4 “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.
The mission of the Son was to glorify the Father. This means on earth he has perfectly done the will of the Father. Jesus has accomplished the work given to Him by the Father. We should understand that Jesus has completed all that he was to do before it was “his hour.” We should also see this with an eye to the future. In Jesus’ death, John’s gospel emphasizes Jesus says “it is finished.” The cross will be the final accomplishment of Jesus doing the Father’s will.
John 6:37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”
The Son is glorified when he is exalted back into heaven returning to the glory he has always had.
John 17: 5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Who is the one who is dying? It is one who dwelled in the glory of the Father and had glory with the Father before the foundations of the world. Before the world was created the Son dwelt with the Father and dwelt in the glory of the godhead. Heaven did not exist before the foundation of the “kosmos” when heaven and earth were created. Jesus is an eternal being: without beginning or end. He was not created. Jesus is God but a distinct person from God the Father.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
In Biblical thinking only God can create. Only God existed before creation--Jesus is saying I was there.
In Biblical thinking God cannot share his glory with another being: by Jesus is saying restore me to the glory that I had! Jesus shared in the glory before the foundations of the Word.
Isaiah 42:8 “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.
Isaiah 48:11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.
Asking for this glory, asking to be restored to this glory and to be glorified with the Father--is blasphemous unless Jesus is truly God.
Why did Jesus come to die? Jesus came to act on behalf of the Father to glorify the name of God. It is God taking action for the sake of His name--for His own sake. It accomplish redemption but more than that in this accomplishing of redemption the glory and majesty of God is shown to all creation.
Jesus is to be praised, honored and glorified. But we can not ascribe more glory to Jesus than he already has. We don’t add to Jesus’ glory, we acknowledge it. --But we cannot glorify the Son more than the Father has already glorified the Son in lifting him up on the cross, resurrecting him and exalting him to His own right hand.
The Father is to be praised, honored and glorified. We cannot ascribe more glory and honor to the Father than the Son already does.
We cannot rob God of glory. You would think the cross is the defeat of Jesus. You would think God is defeated on the cross: he lets his Son die. Dying on a cross puts him under a curse. This seems like a failure. Now it is the victory of God! It is the glory of the Father and the Son displayed in the most humble of means.