Jesus, the Ultimate Example of Godly Exaltation
He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Php_2:8-11)
There is an ungodly, self-sufficient exaltation that leads to defeat and dishonor. “Everyone who exalts himself will be abased” (Luk_18:14). On the other hand, there is a godly, self-denying humility that leads to a proper exaltation. “He who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luk_18:14). We saw in our previous meditation that Jesus was the ultimate example of humility. Here, we see that He is also the ultimate example of godly exaltation.
Jesus humbly surrendered Himself to the will of the Father that our salvation might be secured through His atoning death. “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” The results were glorious. God’s great salvation was purchased for man, and God’s Son was greatly exalted. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.” First, Jesus was raised victoriously from the dead and seated at the Father’s right hand, being granted the name above all names. “He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph_1:20). Some day He will return triumphantly. “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war” (Rev_19:11). Finally, He will rule forever sovereignly. ” Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end . . . to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever” (Isa_9:7).
Those who must be forced to bow at the end will be separated from Him forever. Those who humbly bow and confess Him now will be exalted now (that is, “lifted up” now into heavenly realms of forgiveness, blessing, growth, and fruitfulness). Eventually, they will enter into His eternal exaltation (joint-heirs with Christ, serving Him forever)! The pathway is humility. He humbled Himself, yet, will rule eternally. We humble ourselves before Him now, yet we reign with Him forever!
Lord Jesus, what an amazing path You walked—from humble servanthood to a heavenly throne. What a grand exaltation will be Yours forever. What an astounding joy to know that I will join You in that exaltation, serving You eternally. Lord, I humble myself before You anew. Make me You faithful servant now while I await the glorious privilege that is coming, Amen.