Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why Did God Exalt Jesus? Why Would He Exalt Us?

Philippians 2:9
9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.
Why did God exalt Jesus? If you look at verse 9, you see that it begins with the word, “therefore,” so it refers back to what was just written. It refers to His humiliation in the incarnation. The New American Standard translates the beginning of the verse this way, “For this reason also.” This is His reward for His willingness to humble Himself in the incarnation, especially, His willingness to go to the cross as our substitute. His exaltation is His reward for the cross.

That’s the payoff. That’s why Jesus was willing to go through the excruciating humiliation of the cross. He did it because that isn’t the end of the story. His humbling was a path to His exaltation.

Hebrews 12:2 tells us:
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
How could Jesus go to the cross? Jesus could go to the cross because He looked beyond the cross to the other side. He looked beyond the pain and suffering and beyond all that humiliation, and He looked into eternity where He would sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven fully glorified again and exalted again above all of creation.

Listen! Our humbling, our sacrifice - that isn’t the end of our story either – No way! We can look beyond the grave to eternity as well. We can look to that day when we too will be exalted. In Matthew 23:12, this is what Jesus tells us: “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Amen! Our humbling is also our path to exaltation.

Now look at: James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

Also, 1st Peter 5:6 says, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

If we humble ourselves to do Christ’s will, God the Father will lift us up and exalt us – that is His promise! Our humbling is the path to our exaltation.

That’s one of the paradoxes of the Christian life. The more we give, the more we receive. The more we sacrifice, the more God blesses. The more we humble ourselves, the more God exalts us in heaven. Which is precisely why Paul can say in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

What an awesome truth. If we could quantify the amount of suffering we endure in this life, than compare it to the exaltation we receive in heaven, the exaltation will be exponentially greater. And listen, the more we suffer here, the greater the reward will be there. Increased suffering for Christ now will exponentially increase our exaltation there. That’s God promise, and that’s our motivation!

But that is also God’s plan for us, just as it was for His Son, Jesus. From the book of Romans again we read in Romans 8:29-30:
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
That’s our destiny. We have been called by God and adopted as His children, and as such, He has “predestined” us to be “glorified” just like God did with Jesus. And if God promised it, you can count on it.

1st John 3:2 also gives us this assurance,
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
Doesn’t that make any sacrifice we make in this life seem worth it?

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