Wednesday in Holy Week

Hebrews 12 & 13; John 12:37-50

The Glory of the Son

Hebrews 12 paints for us New Testament worship as it really is.  We do not gather at Mount Sinai where God came down in thunder and lightning and trumpet blast, as described in Exodus 19 and 20:18-21.  As awesome as that sounds, our worship is far superior and awe-inspiring.  We gather at Mount Zion, “The heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant.” Now that Christ has ascended to the right hand of the Father, we worship him in all his magnificence and glory.  And with him are the angels and the saints who have gone before.  You might read Revelation 4 and 5 for a glimpse of the throne-room worship that happens in heaven, the worship that the early church tried to model.  Indeed, we walk into that very throne-room each and every Sunday when we enter the sanctuary for worship.  Mount Sinai doesn’t even begin to compare!

And whom do we worship?  Whom do we glorify?  John 12:37-41 tells us.  There, John refers to Isaiah’s throne-room vision in which he saw God high and lifted up in the temple (Isaiah 6).  He uses the passage to explain why the people could not hear Jesus’ message.  But then, John says something remarkable: “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him” (12:41).  Him who?  Him, Christ, that’s who.

We usually see the Isaiah passage as referring to God the Father.  But John, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says that it was the pre-incarnate Son.  In the same way did many of the early Church fathers see the Son in the burning bush.  This is all to say that it was the Son all along, from the Old Testament through the New.  He was at creation, “For by him all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible” (Colossians 1:16).  He was the Angel of the Lord that visited Abraham (Genesis 18), the spiritual Rock that followed the children of Israel (1 Corinthians 10:4), the exalted Lord who appeared to Isaiah (Isaiah 6).  And it is he whom we approach every Sunday morning.  He is the King who bestows upon us a kingdom, one that cannot be shaken.  He is the Minister of the city to which we aspire, the One to whom we owe the sacrifice of praise.  Before his throne, we humbly bow; his never-ending mercies, we plead; his continual aid, we beg.  He is the eternal Son of the Father.  Therefore, “Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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