Philippiansby David Sanford
How good that the cross and grave aren't the end of the story. Far from it!
On the third day, Jesus rose from the dead. He appeared to His apostles and many others over a period of 40 days (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21; Acts 1:3-8). Then, in the presence of the Eleven, He ascended back to heaven (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:2, 9-11; 1 Timothy 3:16). Out of deepest humiliation came greatest exaltation.
God the Father has given Jesus the greatest honour in the universe. One day, every creature ″in heaven and on earth and under the earth″ (Philippians 2:10) will do two things. First, ″every knee [will] bow″ (v. 10) in submission to Jesus Christ. Second, everyone will audibly ″acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father″ (v. 11).
Let's delve into the significance of today's Scripture passage.
The words take us back to 700 BC. In a majestic passage from Isaiah 45:18-24, the Lord (Yahweh) speaks to the nations. He describes himself as Creator of the heavens and earth (v. 18), the one and only Lord God (vv. 18, 21, 22), one who speaks only truth (vv. 19, 23), the only one who knows the future (v. 21), and ″a righteous God and a Saviour″(v. 21). Then the Lord issues these words: ″Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear″ (vv. 22-23).
When Paul writes to the Philippian believers, he is clearly applying this stirring prophecy to Jesus Christ. What's more, he is saying that Jesus is the Lord (Yahweh). (Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians in ancient Greek, which had no equivalent to ″Yahweh″. But we know he meant that Jesus is Yahweh because ″Yahweh″ is used explicitly five times in the Isaiah passage he references.)
In the end, the question isn't, ″Is Jesus Lord?″ He is, now and for eternity. Instead, the question is: ″Have you acknowledged that fact in your own life?″ How good it is to gladly acknowledge His place in the universe and in your life and mine, here and now. As we saw in Philippians 2:5-8, this means that we choose to be humble in our relationships with each other. Such humility and unity greatly honour Jesus as our Lord.
List the major spheres of your life. In which do you need to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord?
What is one way you can gladly acknowledge that Jesus is Lord today in a sphere of your life?