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"And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." [John 17:5.]
There are two kinds of priorities: one is essential and is not preceded by a cause, but its existence is in itself, as, for example, the sun has light in itself, for its shining is not dependent on the light of other stars. This is called an essential light. But the light of the moon is received from the sun, for the moon is dependent on the sun for its light; therefore, the sun, with regard to light, is the cause, and the moon becomes the effect. The former is the ancient, the precedent, the antecedent, while the latter is the preceded and the last.
The second sort of preexistence is the preexistence of time, and that has no beginning. The Word of God is sanctified from time. [i.e., the Reality of Christ.] The past, the present, the future, all, in relation to God, are equal. Yesterday, today, tomorrow do not exist in the sun.
In the same way there is a priority with regard to glory--that is to say, the most glorious precedes the glorious. Therefore, the Reality of Christ, Who is the Word of God, with regard to essence, attributes and glory, certainly precedes the creatures. Before appearing in the human form, the Word of God was in the utmost sanctity and glory, existing in perfect beauty and splendor in the height of its magnificence. When through the wisdom of God the Most High it shone from the heights of glory in the world of the body, the Word of God, through this body, became oppressed, so that it fell into the hands of the Jews, and became the captive of the tyrannical and ignorant, and at last was crucified. That is why He addressed God, saying: "Free Me from the bonds of the world of the body, and liberate Me from this cage, so that I may ascend to the heights of honor and glory, and attain unto the former grandeur and might which existed before the bodily world, that I may rejoice in the eternal world and may ascend to the original abode, the placeless world, the invisible kingdom."
It is thus that you see even in the kingdom of this world--that is to say, in the realm of souls and countries-- that the glory and the grandeur of Christ appeared in this earth after His ascension. When in the world of the body He was subject to the contempt and jeers of the weakest nation of the world, the Jews, who thought it fitting to set a crown of thorns upon His sacred head. But after His ascension the bejeweled crowns of all the kings were humbled and bowed before the crown of thorns.
Behold the glory that the Word of God attained even in this world!