THE GLORIFIED CHRIST
BY: JOHN R GAVAZZONI
It is not uncommon as we advance in years to become increasingly aware of our weaknesses and strengths. To walk with our Lord in the awareness of our weaknesses without succumbing to condemnation, and of our strengths without yielding to pride is, I think, a mark of a life that can touch others with great lasting effect; with that effect traceable to a keen awareness of being a man among men, and paradoxically, quite uncommon by that very awareness.
I assure my readers that an investigation, listing, and thorough examination of this man’s weaknesses would require an essay of considerable length, but, on this occasion, by way of introduction to our subject, “The Glorified Jesus,” I will dare to commend myself to you all as one having come to some level of uncommon spiritual discernment by the grace of God as He has found opportunity in my very common weakness.
That level of discernment has not been without a painful price because discernment has come in part because of having been so singularly lacking in that quality at crucial times in my life. Pain is a great instrument in the hands of the Spirit of Truth; a quite fine tool in the required preparation for the imparting of wisdom. One area of discernment that I cannot but notice has been cultivated by the Spirit in this disciple’s life might best be described this way:
Very, very often, I find myself reading some theological treatise, listening to or reading some passionate devotional exhortation, or exposed to some brother’s or sister’s “revelation,” and, as it were, a bright orange anointing-planted caution flag pops up, and I find myself thinking, “Ooh, I don’t think so! Anyone incorporating this into their understanding of God’s relationship to man will find themselves down the road a ways at a not-so-good spiritual place.”
This has been particularly so as I’ve become aware of how Jesus, as Jesus – both historically, and now again in the contemporary truth-seeking scene – is suffering the violation to His Personhood by an assumption (along a spectrum ranging from coal black to light grey) that He has taken a back seat to “the Christ.” There is some kind of notion that Jesus can take you just so far spiritually, but then, you’ve got to get beyond Him to where only “the Christ” can take you.
Within this religious conceptualizing, there is the willing admission that Jesus is the Door, but, with that admission, is either the flat-out assertion, or subtle suggestion, that that’s all He is, the mere opening to vast palatial dimensions where He is no longer that singular Personhood-dynamic of our journey into a full partaking of, and participation, in the Divine Nature.
Now rather than, on this occasion, going into a long, detailed expose of such nonsense, I will simply point out a very obvious biblical thread, that if kept in the forefront of those things that we hold precious, will save us from the great embarrassment and pain that comes when wrong-thinking fleshes itself out as dysfunctional living.
Let your mind dwell on the following passages of scripture quoted from the NAS translation: (Emphasis, mine) “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, BECAUSE JESUS was not yet glorified.” (Jn. 7: 38, 39)
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the DYING OF JESUS, that the LIFE OF JESUS also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for JESUS’ SAKE, that the LIFE OF JESUS may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4: 8-11)
“But (Stephen) being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and JESUS standing at the right hand of God;” (Acts 7: 55)
“And he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who art Thou, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I AM JESUS whom you are persecuting.'” (Acts 9: 4, 5)
“and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is JESUS…” (1 Thes. 1: 10)
That’s enough. I could go on and on with scripture passages to make my point, but for now, let those suffice. Now for some very serious exegesis: The Holy Spirit could not, according to John, be given until He, JESUS (He did not say Jesus Christ, or Christ Jesus, simply JESUS) was glorified. The reason the Holy Spirit – the very Life-giving Spirit Who is to us the indwelling Christ, according to Paul – could not be given until JESUS was glorified is because JESUS, the MAN, JESUS, as our Kinsman-Redeemer, the One Who shares our Humanity, and Whose Humanity we share, had to be glorified in that Humanity, because we were to receive from Him, not only the Holy Spirit as Deity, but the Holy Spirit Who is also the Spirit of glorified Humanity in Him.
Listen saints; the indwelling Presence that is our Reality is the SPIRIT OF JESUS. He summed up, in Himself, bodily, the fullness of the Godhead and the totality humanity and true essence of humanness, and was sent by His/our Father to undergo an aeonion experience that required a self-emptying and then a return to the glory He had with the Father before the world began, and the Holy Spirit, His Spirit, JESUS’ SPIRIT, imparts to us the glory which we, together with/in Him, had in eternity.
In and by Him, JESUS, our eternal being, the being we have in God, becomes existential in the aeon(s) and undergoes a metamorphosis whereby the divorce of the natural and the spiritual is healed forever. In JESUS, God, out from eternity and into time, fleshed out His own hidden Humanness and gave that fullness to us all.
Think of it, dear ones, could the Word have become flesh if flesh (being in this context, humanness)? is essentially contrary to the Divine Nature? Could God manifest Himself in the Humanity of His Son, if such a manifestation was not consistent with His Nature? The mystery (hidden secret) of godliness (godlikeness) is God manifested in the flesh.
The eternal Word, the singular Christ-SEED, the eternally Begotten Son of God, became JESUS, AND HE’S STILL JESUS! Yes, Yes! The resurrected One, in full glory, identified Himself to Saul as “JESUS” Whom thou persecute.” He’s still Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
The Man, JESUS, transfigured, is fully identified with the Christ in Whom we are made to sit in heavenly places, and His life is identical to the life of Christ which is our life. You can’t separate “them.” If you’re in Christ, you’re in JESUS. If Christ dwells in you, JESUS does. We have one mediator between God and man, the Man, Christ Jesus. The connecting point of God and Man is the Man, Christ Jesus. Please note: Not a de-humanized spirit, but the glorified Christ, Who is JESUS.
There’s a Man, a Man of self-sacrificial, lamb-like character Who, according to John’s revelation, is in the midst of the throne of God; more accurately in the cross-hairs center of the throne, that is, He is the very Center of universal dominion.
In this passage, it is His (specifically JESUS’) dying that we bear in the body, and it is His life, the LIFE OF JESUS (specifically) that is manifested in our body. Paul, in 2 Cor. 4, takes great pains in his rhetoric to establish that, repeating himself for great emphasis. To be sure, it is not Jesus, pre-resurrection, pre-glorification, who lives in us. He’s no longer walking the dusty roads of Galillee, unless we’re walking there. He’s in the very fiber of what makes us.
You will find Him in the depths of who you are, as you no longer yield to the world’s identification of yourself. Deep within, you “feel the thrill of glory” as the old gospel song put it. That’s where Jesus is; in that transcendent joy and peace that the carnal mind cannot finally resist. He’s not in the religious collage of mental pictures that distract us from Him, all those “things” that promise to make you spiritual if you listen to their siren song.
“When I’m with Him,
When I’m with Him,
The fairest pleasures of the world grow dim.
And in my heart, I feel the thrill of glory,
When I’m with Him,
When I’m with Him.”
GLORIFIED CHRIST [John Gavazzoni] 1