…For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:9-11
We’re just two days from Christmas Day, but for just a moment or two, we pause. To reflect on all the implications of Christmas. Of the Christ coming to live among us.
Through the month of December we’ve reflected on Jesus as the Chosen One, the Emptied One, and the Sent One. Today, we will focus on who He is as a result of all of these.
…Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him… (Phil. 2:8-9a)
He came to die a physical death… to set us free from that which enslaves us and holds us captive… that is, the enemy in our flesh… And because He did, because He accomplished what He was sent for…
…God highly exalted Him!
EXALTED BECAUSE HE IS EXALTED
In the first advent post of this series, I commented that because Jesus was chosen, we were also chosen by God. That by choosing Jesus, God chose us, the people identified with Him. Isn’t it wonderful?
Well, in the same way, because God exalted Jesus, He also exalted us in Him! It’s just too much to fathom, isn’t it?
‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.’ (Rev. 3:21)
The truth is, we are not yet seated with Him in glory. No, we’re still here, in bodies of flesh and blood, walking by faith and not sight.
However, our “head”, the One whose body we are… He is already exalted and seated with the Father in glory!
…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all… (Eph. 1:19-23)
GIVING HIM OURSELVES
And because we are identified with and literally connected to Him through the Spirit in us, He can live His exalted, overcoming, powerful, and free life through us now, here on earth! He is over all powers/authorities (i.e.: evil/fallen angels) in this darkness. They have nothing on Him. And because we’re in Him, it is possible that they can have nothing—no enslaving power— over us as well! Yet, He does not ask us to live this life. He knows we utterly cannott. Because of the flesh we’re still in. He simply asks us to let Him live this life through us now! He wants access to us, and this is what is presently ours to give or deny. We give it by faith. We deny it by lack of faith.
The whole Christian life is lived on the basis of faith. I don’t mean we get saved by faith. I mean after we get saved, we subsist from Christ only on the basis of moment-by-moment faith. If we don’t live based on faith, that is, by co-dependent trust in Jesus to live His Life through us (via His Spirit in us), then we aren’t living the Christian life. The Christian life isn’t lived based on shoulds and shouldn’ts. It isn’t lived based on trying hard to be like Jesus. It’s lived by Jesus Himself, living His life in and through us… By Jesus being given full access and freedom to do as He desires in and through us.
And oh will He live gorgeously, triumphantly, and powerfully in and through us when we grant Him this!
TWO SOURCES OF LIFE
The truth is, we have two options. We can live from the flesh or from the Spirit (Romans 8:4-8,13, Gal. 5:1,16-18). There is simply no in between. Doing our best, from the source of ourself, is not the Christian life. It’s the flesh life. Trusting Jesus to work His best (because everything He does is the best) through us, this is the Christian life. The way we humans were created, this is how it works. We’re either carriers of darkness—even if it’s disguised as light, or we’re grand chariots of Jesus Himself. See, the vast difference between Jesus seated high above the darkness and us existing in this present darkness is so huge, so colossal! There’s no comparison, not only in the greatness of what He produces compared to us, but there’s no comparison in the power and effect His work has through us. The difference is startlingly huge.
… apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
I have strength for all things in Him that gives me power. (Phil. 4:13, DBY)
CHRISTMAS WITH HIM AMONG US
As we head into our celebrations of Christmas, however they might look, whatever we may be facing, may we glory in the wonder of the freedom from slavery granted us because of the Baby who was born… and the cross He was destined for. And may we spend our Christmases walking moment-by-moment trusting the Exalted One in us, to think, speak, love, comfort, serve, and do all things in and through us. How tenderly and passionately He loves us! He is so worthy of our constant trust! Friends, can you even imagine Christmas with the very presence of Emmanuel (God With Us) among us and our love this years!? Oh how possible this is for every one of us! And oh the love and power, goodness and wonder we’ll enjoy!
And so, it is with this offering, I wish you and yours a very very Merry Christmas, filled full of the very real and tangible presence of Emmanuel—the Exalted One—in your midst.
With all my love,