The Apostle Paul said, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us” (Rom. 8:18, WEB). Whether it is the glory that will be revealed for us, as in the World English Bible translation, or “in us” as in most translations, it is obviously a revelation we want to be around for.
This revelation is so great that the whole creation is waiting for it! (vv. 19-22). It is not just waiting, but “groaning in labor pains” (v. 22).
I got a taste of what that revelation might be when I read John 20:17. There Jesus says to Mary Magdalene, “Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”
Until he rose, Jesus did not call the disciples his brothers. He did call them his friends (Jn. 15:15), but never brothers. Now, after the resurrection, he refers to them as brothers, and he calls his Father “my Father and your Father.” In those simple words he expressed one of the greatest things accomplished on the cross and in the resurrection. He made us children of God is such a real way that he is our older Brother and we are his siblings.
John 20:17 is just the beginning of it, though. In Romans 8:29, Paul tells us that we are foreordained to be “conformed to his image,” so that he can be the firstborn among many siblings. One day, when we see him (1 Jn. 3:2), we will be so much like him that it will be right to call him the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
We have to wonder what that is like. I want to propose that Jesus, exalted to the right hand of the Father, is so glorious when he appears that it causes men–even the man that laid his head on his bosom on earth–to fall down as dead (Rev. 1:17). His eyes were a flame of fire (1:14).
If the whole creation is waiting for the revelation of the “glory” of the children of God (Rom. 8:21), is it not possible that the glory being spoken of is the same glory which rested on Jesus and caused John to collapse at his feet? Moses’ face shone when he came out the tabernacle with God, and that was the ministry of condemnation! How much more glory shall there be from the covenant of righteousness of which we partake? (2 Cor. 3:7-11). Daniel prophesied that the wise would shine like the stars of heaven (Dan. 12:3). Jesus said he was giving us his glory (Jn. 17:22).
The sufferings of this time can’t be compared to the coming glory. Have we seriously underestimated that glory? Let us not shrink back, but press forward and attain!