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Massive Reversal

Philippians 2:9-11
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (NIVUK)

The word 'therefore' refers back to Philippians 2:5-8 in which the humble servanthood of Christ is the example for normal Christian behaviour.  In His obedience to the Father's will, the cross came as no surprise (Mark 8:31), and neither did the glory which He was to receive (John 17:5).  Jesus went from the lowest place, as the substitute for sinners, to the highest place as the supreme ruler of all creation (Revelation 3:14).

The shame which surrounded Him on the cross was to be replaced by the Name of 'Almighty God' (Isaiah 9:6).  The stumbling journey to Calvary would be replaced by every human being bowing before Him.  From being the victim of the "Crucify Him" cries (Mark 15:13-14), He is now awaiting the day when every voice will cry out that He is Lord.  When that happens, Father God will be glorified.

Such a mighty reversal was planned by God, and it was the reward for Jesus Christ’s obedience and endurance. Of course, Jesus could see through the cross to the crown which awaited Him (Hebrews 12:2-3); and He knew that the ultimate shame was temporary.  Nevertheless, He still had to endure all the agony; but not hopelessly.  Instead, He endured purposefully, both for our sakes, and for His.  Those who despise the Lord Jesus now will have a big shock when He returns in glory (Matthew 24:30-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).  Human beings dead and alive will rise to be judged (John 5:28-29).  Religious people who have denied the divine supremacy of Christ, however sincere they are in their beliefs, will acknowledge that Jesus is Lord of everything.  Satan and his demons will also all have to agree that Jesus Christ is Lord (Mark 1:24).

On that day they will know that they were so wrong about Him, which is why worldly people will mourn (Revelation 1:7).  But it will be a great day for those believers who have been downtrodden and despised because of their faith - for they will see the glorious future they will share with their Lord (Acts 7:54-60).  So, be encouraged; in God's hand, big reversals of justice do happen ... it was like that for Jesus and it will be for all those who endure for His sake too.  Those who endure for Him will reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12).  This is a great encouragement to us to keep on trusting in Jesus by submitting to Him.

Father God. Thank You for giving Jesus the highest place, and for promising that one day everybody will see Him as He is. Forgive me for my recurrent desire for people to honour me because I have failed to practise submitting to Jesus. I pray for my friends and colleagues who have not submitted to Him as yet. I ask that You will help me to be faithful to Jesus in my lifestyle and gospel proclamation so that they may gladly receive Him while there is still time, before it is too late. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams