“Far above all principality and powers and might and dominion” Ephesians 1:21 KJV
“Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” Ephesians 1:21 NASB
“God also hath highly exalted Him” Philippians 2:9 KJV
“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him” Philippians 2:9 NASB
“Made higher than the heavens” Hebrews 7:26 KJV
“Exalted above the heavens” Hebrews 7:26 NASB
“He shall be exalted and extoled and be very high” Isaiah 52:13 KJV
“He will be high and lifted up and greatly exalted” Isaiah 52:13 NASB
It is thrilling to the worshiping soul to consider the glory which has been bestowed upon our Lord Jesus in resurrection. He has not only risen from the dead, He has ascended; but He has not only ascended, He entered within the veil, into the throne room and seated Himself at God’s right hand.
He has been exalted by God. But not only has God exalted His Son; He is far above all principality. He has not only exalted Him, but He has highly exalted; He is higher than the heavens. He will not only be high but very high. God was not content (speaking reverently), to merely exalt His Son, He must be highly exalted, very high, far above all – higher than the heavens. Everything is in the superlative, the descriptives of added majesty and honor.
In these honors conferred by God upon His Son, we learn first of His exaltation. He is beyond comparison. He has been anointed with the oil of gladness above His companions. He has no peer, no true equal amidst the pantheon of Biblical heroes. God has given Him a distinctive place, not based on grace but on the ground of merit.
“The crown is His and His by right; the highest place in heaven” (Thomas Kelly).
But another truth is contained in the theme of His exaltation. It is the principle of sowing and reaping. God has given Him the immeasurable glory as a result of the immeasurable depths of shame and suffering to which He went at Calvary. The measure of His glory is a reflection of the corresponding grief which He knew. In God’s moral universe, the inviolable law of sowing and reaping is always observed.
He has gone lower than anyone can imagine or envision to redeem us and to glorify His Father. Scripture gives us hints in the varied expression employed: He became poor; He sold all that He had; “all Thy waves and billows.” We read expressions such as “the dust of death,” “the waters are come in unto My soul.” “I sink in the deep mire … the waterfloods overflow Me …” Employing imagery to which we can relate in part, the Spirit of God has sought to give us some concept of what the cross meant for the Lord Jesus.
In both the words used to describe His exaltation, and in the word-pictures of His suffering, we begin to perceive something of what Calvary meant for Him.
Can you think of other word pictures from the Psalms and prophets that give insight into the sufferings of the Lord Jesus on the cross?