Gathered to Glory

John 11:45–57

Seeking our own glory blinds us to the glory that truly satisfies—namely, the glory of Christ. The most spectacular miracles that one can take in through the naked eye, like a dead man raised from the dead, is not enough to convince a blind heart that Jesus is the Son of God. This was the case of the Jewish leaders of the day upon hearing the news of Lazarus, in the tomb for four days, coming forth at the command of Jesus. The common people were amazed and many believed, but Israel’s shepherds were unmoved. A dead man was raised to life, but hearts remained hard.

Unbelievable unbelief!

The religious leaders were losing their grip on the glory they possessed among the people, which was their life. Something had to be done to get the spotlight back on them and keep their Roman-appointed positions of prominence. Caiaphas, the high priest in those dark days, new the answer: kill Jesus, and save the nation and their own glory. Eliminate the One to save the many.

Unbelievable unbelief!

But Caiaphas was a mere instrument in the hand of the Sovereign God. His murderous heart was the means of God’s grace to a rebellious world. A verdict of unbelievable unbelief was a prophetic message of mercy to the many who deserved death. God’s providence prevailed over man’s unbelievable unbelief.    

The high priest’s role was to “act on behalf of men in relation to God” (Hebrews 5:1), and Caiaphas was an accurate representation. Like him, we all come from the stock of unbelievable unbelief. We are born as glory-mongers to the core, scattered across the earth in our rebellion. We would rather gather around anything but Jesus to keep our own glory, even if it means gathering around the plan to send the Son of God to a cross to die.

But His mercy prevailed.

All mankind was scattered in the pride of our hearts (Luke 1:51). Scattered from our Creator and scattered from life, who would rescue us from such dark death?

Jesus, the One, came to die for the many.

The One was innocent but took the sin and guilt of the many. The One who didn’t deserve death died for the many who did. The prophetic words of Caiaphas were fulfilled in the plan of God that He had for all eternity (Acts 2:23). The wicked high priest was a tool used to exalt the Great High Priest and gather a people scattered in our sin.

Indeed, Jesus has gathered a people scattered abroad! What great mercy to redeem murderous rebels to children of God. He gives us sight. We behold His glory. The craving of the glory-monger is finally satisfied in the glory of the Savior! His mission is a merciful work of gathering to His Father by His cross.

Let us, too, gather to the cross. Let us gather with zeal, from the nations and as His Body. Christ has gathered us; may we gather in delight as we enjoy His glory!
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