Rev. Hanko is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Christ humbled Himself.
The Son of God, who is the only, eternal, holy, righteous, ever blessed, glorious, adorable God, chose for Himself an earthly mother. She was an ordinary, lowly virgin from the small city of Nazareth in despised Galilee. For His birthplace He did not prepare Himself an attractive room in a palace or in some high estate; but rather He chose for Himself a cattle stall, possibly a vacant stall and straw-filled manger in the shelter behind the inn, where the donkeys of the guests were kept.
Even as a child of twelve Jesus spoke with the theologians of His day, yet they did not consider Him a smart aleck, a show-off, but rather were amazed at His humble, yet profound questions and His sound answers. He grew up like any other child among His brothers and sisters, yet without ever committing a single sin. It must have filled them with amazement that He could live among sinners and never make Himself guilty of sin. He was subject to His parents and increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor both with God and men.
Our Lord knew no luxury. During His public ministry He did not as much as own a home or a donkey. Even the clothing He wore was donated to Him. He surrounded Himself with disciples, not from the elite of the people, but twelve men who were taken from their daily occupations. They spent as much time as possible away from their families to follow and be taught by Him.
He wore no halo over His head, nor did He come with a dignified bearing that kept people aloof from Him. The common people enjoyed listening to Him, for He spoke to them with authority, yet in a manner which they could readily understand. He took babies on His lap, and little children readily clung to Him.
He healed the sick. He caused the blind to see and the deaf to hear. He touched and cleansed lepers and raised the dead. Devils were forced to obey Him. Sinners came to Him to weep at His feet and to find solace for their souls. Yes, He rested at times in the rather spacious home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, since He needed a place like that to find shelter and food for Himself and His twelve disciples. As much as He disliked doing so, He did accept an invitation to be a guest of Simon the Pharisee, who looked at Him with suspicion throughout the entire meal.
He became very angry with the self-righteous Pharisees, accused them of being whitewashed sepulchers, but did not use His divine power to punish them. No, even when He in anger drove the buyers and sellers out of the house of God He did not call fire from heaven, but used a whip to assert His authority.
He was so completely the Servant who came to do the Father’s will that He emptied Himself, as it were, of His divine power, as far as His own person was concerned. In all His ministry He never used His divine power for His personal advantage. At the beginning of His ministry when He hungered in the wilderness He could have changed stones into bread to satisfy His craving hunger, and at the same time to show the devil His divine power, but He refused. He could have leaped from the temple tower, and angels would have come at His beck and call to save Him before the eyes of an amazed audience. But He had no intention of using His divine power to His own advantage.
In fact, when the time came for Him to die, He gave Himself into the hands of His enemies, allowed Himself to be bound and led away. God … bound and led away like a criminal. He allowed Himself to be examined by Annas and by Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. He forced them to admit that the only charge they could find against Him was that He confessed the truth, that He was indeed the Son of God. And there upon He allowed them to heap insults upon Him and to condemn Him to death.
He stood in majestic silence before Pontius Pilate, so that Pilate feared Him. He forced the governor to admit that he was delivering an innocent man into the hands of His enemies to be crucified, but He allowed the soldiers to spit upon Him, buffet, and mock Him.
The sinless Jesus surrendered Himself to be led out and to be nailed to the cross, to be suspended between heaven and earth as one not worthy of heaven or even fit to be among the inhabitants of the earth. He gave Himself unto death, to the horrible darkness and isolation of separation from His God. Up to this time He was able to suffer in anticipation of the glory that would follow, but in the agony of hellish torment He could not even see the goal, the purpose of it all. He could but cry out: “My God, My God, why, where to, hast Thou forsaken Me?”
God heard His cry and delivered Him. The obedient Son in our flesh surrendered Himself to physical death and the grave to rise again on the third day as Victor of Satan, sin, death, hell, and the grave! That was the mind of Christ!
God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name above all names. Because He was the obedient Servant, who surrendered Himself unto death to bear our curse, God raised Him from the dead and brought Him to glory! He was wounded for our transgressions. He was raised for our righteousness.
He received a name above all names. Jesus, who humbled Himself as the poorest of the poor and the lowliest of the lowly, who bore the reproach and hatred of sinful men, who faced all the onslaughts of Satan, and suffered the wrath of God in torments of hell, is exalted as Lord over all. The Son of God in our flesh was raised from the dead and exalted with a name above all names. Well may we cry out, “Truly, what is man or the son of man that Thou God dost regard him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor!”
Even as a name expresses power or authority, so Christ received a name far above every power and authority in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.
The Christ, our Redeemer, Savior, and Lord, arose from the grave, and forty days later, accompanied by myriads of angels, ascended to the highest heavens. As a reward on His accomplished work, all power is entrusted to Him in heaven and on earth.
He is Lord over the angels. The angelic host that had been disrupted through the fall and the casting out of Satan and his followers is united with Christ as their Lord, a perfectly organized angel host. All the angels await the bidding and carry out the orders of Lord Jesus both in heaven and on earth. They are more involved in our lives than we can ever realize.
Christ is Lord over the devil and demons of hell. Although these powers of darkness vainly at tempt to wipe out God’s cause from the face of the earth, they, in spite of themselves, must carry out the counsel of God with the power allotted to them by the exalted Christ for the welfare of God’s church.
The Lord of glory carries out His supreme authority over all the vast creation. The sun in its rising and setting, the stars of heaven in their courses, rain and sunshine, springtime and harvest, fruitful and unfruitful years, sickness and health—all are the work of God in Christ Jesus. Nothing befalls us in this vale of tears but that which promotes the salvation of our souls because Jesus is Lord over all.
Even the counsels of wicked men are directed by the Lord of glory to serve for the salvation of the church. Wars and rumors of war, the rise and fall of rulers and empires. The persecution of the saints, and even the heresies and evils that arise within the church must serve their eternally appointed purpose.
All things have been created by Him, and also all things were created for Him, and He is the Head of the church, our Lord Jesus Christ!
We hear the sweet singer of Israel saying: “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, the city of the great King! Glorious things of thee are spoken, city blessed of God the Lord! For all things are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s!”
For Christ reigns out of Zion for the welfare of the saints, the gathering of God’s church, the coming of His kingdom and the glory of God’s name!
O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Thy name over all the earth!
Every knee must bow and every tongue must confess that He is Lord to the glory of the Father!
The powers of darkness have but a little while before they will be cast into the lake of fire. There while gnashing their teeth and gnawing their tongues they will be forced to admit, even reluctantly, that Christ is Lord, the Lord whom they rejected.
We expect a new heaven and a new earth in which that grand multitude that no man can number will live and reign with Christ, each devoting his or her life according to each one’s unique name and place to the glory of the Father. As one with Christ Jesus they will all live in intimate communion of life with God to reflect His glory with their whole being!
There the myriads of angels will serve them in their worship and adoration, and the entire new creation will be united in perfect harmony to show forth the glory of our God.
The time draws near. Two millenniums ago the world cast out the Christ of God. Since that time the measure of iniquity is steadily, now even rapidly, filling up.
God is not in all their thoughts. His laws are violently and deliberately trodden under foot. The church is despised. Heresy abounds. Corruption fills the high places, the holy marriage state is made a mockery, abortions, murders, rapes, robberies, drug addictions, drinking, horrible crimes committed even among children are reported by the news media.
The measure is nearly full. The world destroys itself with its own corruption. The church is being gathered, purged, preserved, and prepared for glory! Our salvation draws near. Christ is coming to the glory of the Father!