The Significance of Christ's Resurrection & Exaltation

Theological Reflections on the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  48:08
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Why is the Resurrection a big deal? - Why does Christendom have a day to celebrate it? You may already know the answer to this, but I’d love to reconfirm it for you and increase your gratitude to God and your faithfulness of abiding in Christ, the risen Lord.

The Significance of Christ's Resurrection & Exaltation - John 8:50-59, Philippians 2:9-11

Let’s go back to where we left off last week as we described the significance of Christ’s Incarnation & Humiliation:
Philippians 2:6–11 ESV
who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so 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.
His exaltation in glory (above all creation) begins with the Resurrection… - the Turning Point
The Christ Hymn that I’ve chosen as central text for this two-part series presupposes that the hearers, the collective worshippers/singers, also understand and profess the truth of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. - None of this makes any sense if he is not raised. It’s like the letter to the Hebrews, from which some say the resurrection is conspicuously absent. The word resurrection may not be used, but the truth and impact of it is blatantly assumed:
Describing Jesus as priest in the order of Melchizedek, the author explains...
Hebrews 7:16 ESV
who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life.
He was descended from the tribe of Judah (fulfilling his role as the rightful heir to the Davidic throne). So in his role as great high priest, he is not descended from Aaron (the tribe of levitical priesthood). Instead, he is appointed by God to be a priest in the order of Melchizedek. - With reference to Christ, this describes both his deity and the proof of that power in his resurrection from the dead.
Therefore, in explaining how Jesus introduces a “better hope” (v. 19) and is the guarantee of “a better covenant” (v. 22), the author concludes:
Hebrews 7:23–25 ESV
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
They were prevented by what from continuing in office? [death] - And Hebrews is SUPER clear that Jesus gave his life (he died) as the perfect sacrifice to atone for sin. But death doesn’t prevent HIM from continuing in office, why? Because he rose again to conquer sin and death!
Just in case anybody missed the resurrection in there, here’s the concluding benediction in Hebrews:
Hebrews 13:20–21 ESV
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Similarly, the resurrection is not absent from this Christ Hymn; rather, it is a fundamental (and crucial) presupposition.
So let’s explain the significance of the resurrection as the turning point for God the Father exalting the Son (just as his condescension to become a man [incarnation] was the beginning point of His humiliation):

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ Validates His Person & Work

[as well as prophecies foretold of the Messiah, and his purpose (ministry), promise, and power]
With reference to His person most specifically, I’d like to draw out two particular implications: his deity and authority

Specifically His Deity and Authority:

The Bible declares his deity.
[The Bible: God’s word authored through the agency of men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit]
John 1:1–4 ESV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
To whom does this refer?
John 1:17–18 ESV
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
God the Son, coming to earth as a man, has made the Triune God known.
Jesus acknowledged his deity.
God the Son who walked in perfect obedience to God the Father. - He was and is God, the Second person of the Godhead, co-equal with the Father and Spirit in every way.
John 8:50–59 ESV
Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
Why did they want to stone him? What was he claiming by stating “I AM”? When God revealed himself to Moses in a burning bush and commissioned him and gave him authority, this is how he described himself:
Exodus 3:14 ESV
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”
Now Jesus was saying not only that I AM sent him (commissioned him and gave him authority), which was the case, but he was claimed to BE “I AM.” - This was abundantly clear, and they were going to stone him for what they considered blasphemy, so he slipped away because his hour had not yet come (as John frequently describes the coming time when Jesus would allow himself to be crucified for the truth of this claim).
Seven other ways John’s gospel records Jesus describing himself as the I AM with an accompanying metaphor: I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51); I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12); I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9); I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14); I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25); I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6); and I AM the True Vine (John 15:1, 5).
He claimed to have the authority to lay down his life and take it up again.
...and therefore to forgive sins and give resurrection life to those who “obey” him. (John 8:51)
Speaking in John 10 of the fact that he would lay down his life for his sheep and take it up again, he adds:
John 10:18 ESV
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”
Jesus told Martha before raising Lazarus from the dead:
John 11:25 ESV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
At the last supper with his disciples (which John records beginning all the way back at chapter 13), he includes the prayer that Jesus prayed to the Father. It begins this way:
John 17:1–2 ESV
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
The point to be made here is that Jesus, as God, has the power and authority to grant eternal life, to grant access to God.
Let’s return now to the Christ Hymn in Php 2:

The Father’s Exaltation of the Son (Also) Affirms His Deity and Authority

The Result of Christ’s Humiliation:

God (the Father) Exalted Him
In the Christ Hymn of Philippians 2, Christ continues to be the central theme, but now, instead of being the main actor, the attention shifts to God the Father elevating the Son.
This he accomplishes in two ways: by super-exalting him (or exalting him to the absolute highest place), and by giving him the highest name.
Peter O’Brien explains that both linguistically and contextually, it is better to understand this exaltation not as a comparison to his position in his preincarnate state, but taking the superlative as “an elative force connoting Jesus’ exaltation to a position over the whole of creation.” - [Peter Thomas O’Brien, The Epistle to the Philippians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1991), 236.] --- This can be seen in the universal purpose of his exaltation communicated in the last two verses, that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him as Lord.
Speaking of that same point, LORD (κύριος in Greek) is almost certainly the best understanding of the name that God confers upon him, equivalent to the personal name of God in the Old Testament: Yahweh.
The first-century scandal of a crucified Lord and the purported failure of the divine plan for the Messiah is flipped on its head and proven to be perfectly adequate and complete.

The Result of Christ’s Exaltation:

Universal Worship of Jesus as LORD
The fulfillment of this will take place in its fullness at the parousia, that is the second coming of Jesus. - Thus God (the Father) confirms here not only Jesus’ divine identity and authority, but also his future destiny.

Significance to You:

In Him you can have spiritual life.
John 20:30–31 ESV
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
In Him you can face death with comfort and courage.
The sting is out of death:
1 Corinthians 15:54–55 ESV
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
And listen to the testimony of this same Apostle Paul when himself faced with certain death:
2 Timothy 4:6–8 ESV
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
In Him you can face life with comfort and courage.
John 16:33 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:15 ESV
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Romans 8:18 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:28 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:35 ESV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
Romans 8:37–39 ESV
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In Him you can have lasting joy and purpose.
John 20:19–21 ESV
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more