The cross is the glory of God
Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield, 14 September 2019
40 Blogs of Lent 35
What do you think of when someone mentions glory?
Is it the glory of the football parade? The triumphant team parading through the town with the trophy on an open topped double decker bus.
Or is it the glory of a flower, resplendent in its beauty?
Or it it the glory of a king or queen in full official regalia in a throne room? A symbol of pomp, pride, patriotism and power.
Or is it Military glory? Death or Glory is the motto of the Queen’s Royal Lancers. We speak of those members of the armed forces who have died in service of our country as the glorious dead.
These were questions asked during the sermon by Curate Steve. The theme of the service was “The cross is glory” this Palm Sunday.
It was a keep-your-jacket-on sort of day in church, cool for the time of year and grey outside for our walk too and from church, but that didn’t deter us from diverting through the park on our way home. There is very little wildlife on the pond, just a few mallard, fewer coots and a pair of Canada geese. Not many as it is getting near breeding season.
Back to the sermon: The glory of Jesus was a cross, which looks like failure, but is actually God’s power. You would not expect people who are pointing at what they find glorious to point to a gallows or a firing squad or an electric chair, but that is what John the Baptist is doing in this picture, the bony finger saying, “This is God.
Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey in what we call the triumphal entry. But it wasn’t really triumphant. The Romans knew how to do triumphant properly. A general would be in a chariot pulled by four horses, dressed in a special toga with those captured in battle behind and with his soldiers. That was triumphant. Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a donkey is not an impressive looking beast, no one would be afraid or impressed by someone riding a donkey. But that is not God’s way.
God’s way, God’s glory is through the cross. God reigns through the cross. New Testament writers John and Paul speak of the cross being the glory of God.
Jesus came to the cross to glorify God’s name. The cross is where God is glorified. It is a manifestation of God’s goodness and God-ness. God’s glory is found in the cross.