Summary: Jesus is Lord of all. His starus was clearly evidenced in His exaltation in which the Father bestowed on Him the name this is above all names.
Christ The Lord
Text: Philippians 2:5-11
Opening: If you lived on one particular part of the Florida coast during the last twenty-five or so years, you might well have witnessed this scene. The sun is setting like a gigantic orange ball. It’s a cool evening on a vacant, isolated stretch of beach. Water is lapping at the shore. A gentle breeze caresses your face. You notice an old man with curved shoulders, bushy eyebrows and bony features hobbling down the beach carrying a bucket. He carries the bucket to a pier that stretches out into the water. He stands there for awhile, looking into the air, when suddenly the seagulls begin to gather. They come from out of nowhere, seemingly just appearing in the sky. The man takes from out of the bucket handfuls of shrimp and tosses them onto the pier. The seagulls land all around and begin to eat the shrimp. Long after the shrimp are gone, the birds linger with their friend. Why does this scene play itself out week after week? Who is this man and why does he care about seagulls? The man, Eddie Rickenbacher, was the father of the nuclear navy and a WWII pilot. His plane, THE FLYING FORTRESS, went down in the ocean in 1942. He and his crew managed to climb aboard two rafts, but held out only slim hope of survival. They fought thirst, the sun and sharks for thirty days. Their rations last only eight. Rickenbacher, a devout Christian, wrote in his memoirs that even on the rafts the men would have a daily devotional and prayer time. One day following a time of worship, Eddie leaned back against the side of the raft, pulled his hat down and tried to sleep. Suddenly he felt something on his head and knew without looking that it was a seagull. But what would a seagull be doing hundreds of miles out to sea? The pilot knew that the seagull was their chance for survival. His friends on the other rafts who had noticed the seagull thought the same thing. No one moved. Quickly Rickenbacher grabbed the bird, and with thanksgiving to God, they ate the flesh together and used the other parts for fish bait. It saved their lives. He never forgot the visitor who came from a foreign place, the sacrificial guest. When he returned home, every week until he was not longer able, the retired pilot would make the walk to the pier with a bucket of shrimp to say thank you, thank you, thank you. Today, we remember the sacrifice of Christ and celebrate the joy of knowing that we have life in Him by saying praise you, praise you, praise you.
In His humility, Christ Jesus the Son of God, became a servant, made in the image of man for one purpose only…to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. That Friday must have been a very dreary and dismal day for His followers. Too afraid to publicly identify with Jesus, they fled and the left Him to die alone with the care of His body in the charge of some women. They anointed Him with spices and placed His body in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, who was himself a disciple. Nobody wanted anyone tampering with the body of Christ…not His followers (They wrapped His body in a clothe, placed it in a tomb and laid a 3000 pound stone in front of it.), not the Jews (They asked Pilate to send a Roman guard to secure the tomb lest Christ followers might steal the body and proclaim His resurrection) and certainly not the Romans (The last thing they needed was anyone walking around attempting to draw allegiance away from the emperor). But on the third day, some women discovered what we all now know…the tomb was empty, the power of God had been displayed in the resurrection and the cross gave way to a crown.
I. The Incarnation expresses the lowliness of Christ. See Phil. 2:5-9.
II. The Crucifixion expresses the love of Christ. See John 3:16; Romans. 5:8.
III. The Resurrection expresses the life of Christ. See 1 Corinthians 15:12ff.
IV. The Exaltation expresses the Lordship of Christ.
A. Christ has been exalted to the highest place. This marks the beginning of His reign as Lord of the universe. Though His exaltation eventually led Christ to the right hand of the Father (See Acts 5:31), the location of His exaltation should not be thought of in terms of a place, but in terms of position. Jesus was placed above all and given dominion over all. See Daniel 7:13,14.
1. When was Christ exalted? Following His death, burial and resurrection. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” He made this statement during the forty days that He walked the earth following His resurrection prior to His ascension. He had already been exalted to the role of king, although the full expression of His exaltation will take place at His return.