Verse 18 of 2 Corinthians Chapter 3 states, “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” (emphasis added)
With those few words — “from glory to glory” — Paul sums up our entire Christian life, from redemption on earth to our glorious eternal welcome in heaven.
As Christians we believe we receive the ultimate gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ while living on this earth. This is a glorious part of our lives.
When this earthly life is over, we receive the fulfillment of the promise of eternal life in God’s presence, another glorious gift.
So yes, we do go from glory to glory.
There is a caveat that needs to be kept in mind. When it comes to understanding the deep meaning of what was done so we can receive this glory, we cannot go from glory to glory during this coming week.
Tomorrow, we will celebrate the glory of Palm Sunday. This is the day crowds of people welcomed Jesus as their earthly king as he rode a donkey into Jerusalem. They didn’t understand what his true Kingship was all about.
Then the following Sunday, we will celebrate the glory of Easter, when Jesus returns to life. He defeats sin and death once and for always. This is what opens the door for us to receive eternal life.
The caution is this: If we go from the glory of Palm Sunday to the glory of Easter, we miss the deepest part of the love story that is between God and humanity. We miss what Jesus was willing to do for the grace of God to be made available to all.
Jesus sacrificed himself — for us. That sacrifice, with all the humiliation and excruciating pain that went with it, is what gives Easter its greater meaning. The danger in not getting to the foot of the cross ourselves before the celebration of Easter is that we will not have a full appreciation of what Jesus did.
After the glory of Palm Sunday, but before the glory of Easter, be sure to get to the foot of the cross so you can truly understand what was done — for you.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.