[Dec 27]—Meeting the Real Jesus: Exaltation

Phil. 2:9-11

From the moment of his conception, our Lord Jesus’ life was one humiliation after another. Like the skin diver we mentioned a couple days ago, he dove from safety and his home into a cold and somewhat alien environment; He dove deeper and deeper into darkness and then touched bottom as he cried out his final submission to the Father: “Into your hands I commit my spirit.”

But there’s a reason why our message is called the “Good News”—you did know that’s what “Gospel” means, right? Just like the skin diver touching bottom, he then shot up to the top. He was raised from the dead three days later, demonstrating his complete victory and authority over death, hell, Satan, sin and any other forces arrayed against him. He appeared to his followers at various times--over a forty-day period--to his followers to prove it. He wasn’t a ghost or a spirit floating around: He offered to eat some food in front of them, and then did so.

And then came the best part: The Ultimate Hero’s welcome home. He reentered Heaven’s gates to the cheers of those assembled there, and he walked up to his Father’s throne. And he sat down on the right side, the place of greatest honor. Because now his work on earth was done. Our redemption was accomplished.

And he got a new title. Now please don’t misunderstand. He was God before the Incarnation, from eternity past. He was Co-Creator of everything seen and unseen. He enjoyed the worship of angels. But when he returned, the Father somehow bestowed on him greater honor than before.

Now, more than ever, his new title is “Lord.” That’s the “name that is above every name.” Have you ever “name dropped”? You just casually mention that you know someone in order to get better service or better treatment? Why do people do that? Because the name of an important person can carry a lot of weight. If I could credibly claim that I know the President of the United States personally, then that means something. Well, the name of “Lord Jesus Christ” is the name above every other name. That’s the name of ultimate, final authority, above the name of every king, past, present and future. There are other names which are perhaps “behind the scenes,” which you don’t see in many headlines, but which wield power and influence nonetheless. This Name is above those as well.

And one day we’ll see it all. Every knee will bow at that name. Hitler will bow at that name. Stalin will bow. Mao Tse-Dong will bow. Mohammed will bow. Confucius will bow. Buddha will bow. Bill Gates will bow. Steve Jobs will bow. The lowliest guy who held the job of shoveling horse puckey in stalls will bow. Every atheist and mocker who made fun at the name of Jesus, who dishonored his Bride in jokes, and who verbally spat on his word will bow.

And Satan will bow. The great Adversary will be forced to his knees. And with everyone else, he will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. He’s the Boss of Bosses. He’s the King before whom all other kings will bow.

And this is the best news possible for everyone who belongs to him. Why? Because we’re co-heirs with Christ! Everything he owns (which is everything), we have a piece of. When he comes in power and glory, we’re the ultimate “insiders” in the new Regime.

His victory is ours. In some sense, Paul says we share in his glory (see link above). We call God Father, and Jesus calls himself our brother.

But according to Scripture, your choice to bow is not “if,” it’s “when.” You can either bow to his name on this side of Glory, or on the other side. But as C.S. Lewis pointed out, we wouldn’t be very impressed with a Frenchman who totally collaborated with the Nazis and then switched sides just as the Allies were marching into Paris. The smart thing is to bow now. You think?

Lord Jesus, right here and right now I bow to you. In my heart and in my life.

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