What does glory & glorify signify in John’s Gospel? How can the cross be seen as glorious rather than shameful?
In biblical times when the lingua franca was koine Greek, δόξα referred to one's “reputation” in regular Greek literature. However, since the New Testament consists of Greek words filled with Hebrew meanings, δόξα took on a new meaning when the Hebrew word for the experience of God's presence (literally a form of the word “heavy” in Hebrew...one might say God's presence was a “weighty matter”) was loosely translated as “God's reputation” in the Septuagint (LXX, the Greek version of the Old Testament) (Larkin, William J.). The author John, being a good Hebrew (along with most other biblical writers), still understood the original Hebrew sense of the word “glory” and so it took on a unique concept – "manifested majesty." The “weight” of God was thought of as His essential being manifested for all to see. Since, God is hidden, or better invisible, God reveals Himself through Jesus Christ, God's literal manifested essential being of majesty. As a result, Jesus taught that He “exegetes” the Father, repeatedly stating variations of “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Furthermore, John expresses that two of God the Father's quintessential characteristics are love (“God is Love”) and justice “God is Light”). It is through this fact that we can begin to understand Jesus' discourses on His death as the coming glorification of God. For the ultimate manifestation of God's love and justice is displayed on the cross. For it is on the cross where God incarnate died to satisfy the wrath of God (justice) that restoration for all mankind occurred (love). In the upside down Kingdom, God uses a slave's shameful cross as the instrument to glorify the Creator of the universe.
Glory - δόξα