What is glory? On the eve of the day when much of Christendom pauses to remember the birth of Jesus, we seek to answer the question by tracing the history of God’s glory through the Scripture, taking off in the Garden of Eden and landing on Jesus Christ. The glory (in Hebrew, kavod) of God appears and disappears throughout the Old Testament at key moments in the history of Israel; but it finally comes to rest upon Jesus Christ in the incarnation in Bethlehem, where the eternal Son of God took on flesh to dwell among us. As common as the story of Christmas has become, few consider the exchange and appearance of glory that came to earth on that “Silent” and “Holy” night.
Christmas is about the coming of Christ into the world. It’s about the Son of God, who existed eternally with the Father as “the radiance of his glory and the exact representation of his nature,” taking on human nature and becoming a man (Hebrews 1:3). It’s about the birth of a baby by a virgin conceived miraculously by the Holy Spirit, so that he is the Son of God (Luke 1:35). It’s about the coming of a man named Jesus in whom “all the fullness of deity was pleased to dwell” (Colossians 2:9). Christmas answers the question of Ichabod’s mother. Where is the glory? It is found in Jesus is our Immanuel (a Hebrew sentence meaning, God is with us)!