25 Mar Words of Grace – His Exaltation
Good Friday – His Exaltation
“Therefore God has highly exalted him…” Philippians 2:9
It was hard enough for those who followed Jesus to mentally and emotionally deal with his crucifixion. They certainly were not expecting his resurrection. But Jesus told them that both would happen. And he spoke of his crucifixion and resurrection as if they were part of one single event (Mark 8:31).
Philippians 2 tells us the connection. Because Jesus humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross, God highly exalted him. The exaltation of Jesus began with his resurrection from the dead.
John gives us one of the resurrection accounts recorded in the Gospels (John 20:11-17). In this account Mary Magdalene, a follower of Jesus, comes to the tomb and sees that the stone has been rolled away from the entrance and that Jesus’ body is gone. She does not immediately think of a resurrection. She thinks someone has taken Jesus’ body to another location.
But Jesus calls her name, and she recognizes him. With joy she takes hold of Jesus. Jesus tells her not to cling to him because he has not yet ascended to the Father.
What do we make of this resurrection and the talk of ascension? The plan of God, which we have already seen included the death of Jesus, also included the exaltation of Jesus through his resurrection and ascension into heaven (Luke 24:50-52). Jesus is highly exalted as Lord.
After Mary saw Jesus alive and heard him say he would ascend to the Father, she went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord.”
We don’t have to look any further than in the pages of the Gospels to see the exalted Lord of the universe. Jesus is Lord.