Christ “made himself nothing” by becoming God in flesh. His humiliation and suffering was only for a limited time in order to accomplish a specific purpose. When the mission to save all people from eternal death was accomplished, Christ’s humiliation was finished.
“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 confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
What happened to Jesus?
“God exalted him to the highest place.” In the English dictionary, the word “exalt” can mean to lift or to raise up in rank, power or dignity. It can also mean to glorify.
God “crowned” the work (conferred upon him his glorious position) Jesus had done and declared it perfect and finished. The beggar’s clothes or the form of a servant was removed and Jesus no longer needed to be restrained from the fact that He is God. He now fully exercises his majesty as the exalted God-man to rule over everything in heaven and on earth as King of kings and Lord of lords.
Jesus, our victorious Savior, now holds in his hands the reins of the universe. He rules all things in heaven and on earth in the interest of his believers, and he will come again to end this age, judge the world, and take his believers to be with him to share his glory in eternal life.
What does it mean when God gave Jesus the “name that is above every name”?
In Acts 4:12 it reads, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Only by Jesus’ name and by faith in his name can we be saved from our sins. Our relationship with Jesus will determine the eternal destiny. Someday it will become very obvious to all mankind that Jesus is Lord. There will be no doubt whatsoever who Jesus is when he fully reveals his majesty and glory.
On judgment day, the whole universe will stand before Jesus. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord. The only question will be if that person will be confessing in fear or in thanksgiving and praise. Unbelievers will make their confession with shame and disgrace. Believers who confessed their faith with sincere hearts on earth will rejoice on that great day. They will join with other believers throughout the ages and joyfully confess throughout eternity that Jesus Christ is Lord.
What is Paul’s encouragement to the church in Philippi and to us today?
Paul is encouraging us that since we are new creations in Christ, we can model his life of humility and sacrifice. Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34). When we share in this attitude of humility, we can do so with the assurance that someday we will also share in Christ’s glory.
Paul also says, “If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him” (2 Timothy 2:11,12) The Lord promises that in eternity he will acknowledge our lives of humility and self-sacrifice as evidence that we were truly loyal and committed to him. This reward will be far greater than any kind of earthly reward.
For further reading of a similar post, I suggest “The significance of how Jesus emptied himself on our behalf.”