Day 7: Jesus the Exalted King
This week, our understanding of the Lord Jesus has deepened. First, we learned of His unique virgin birth and sinless life. Then, we marveled at His miracles that proved Jesus had the power of God. Next, we read the teachings of Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:1).
The perfect Jesus did not deserve death, the punishment for sin that the rest of humankind deserves. But on day 4, we were surprised to learn that Jesus prophesied His own death. God’s wrath against sin fell on Jesus—the Lamb of God died to take the punishment for believing sinners.
Because of His perfect sacrifice, God raised the Lord Jesus from the dead and honors Him above all:
“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” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Why will all people one day bow to Jesus? He is King of kings and Lord of lords!
“Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.’
“‘You are a king then!’ said Pilate.
“Jesus answered, ‘You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.’" (John 18:36-37).
Jesus’ last words and ascension to heaven
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations. . . .’
“Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God” (Luke 24:45-53).
Who is this Jesus? We know He is the perfect Man, Miracle Worker, true Prophet, faithful Teacher, only Savior, and resurrected Lord, but only God should be worshipped. Unless Jesus is God the Son, the disciples sinned in worshipping Him. If Jesus is God, He must be worshipped!
Jesus is the one way to the Father and paradise
Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He assured His disciples that He would come back one day to take all true believers in Jesus to paradise.
“‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's [God’s] house [paradise] are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.’
“Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
‘If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’
“Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’
“Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves’” (John 14:1-11).
Jesus did not claim that He, a man, had become God. He testified that He was God’s Son become man! Jesus is fully God and fully man in one Person.
Even before the world was created, Jesus was always with God and was God (John 1:1-18). God is one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:18-20).
As the God-Man, Jesus is the only One who could and did live a perfect life, die in the place of believing sinners, and rise from the dead to show His victory over sin and death.
Jesus will come again to execute judgment
“This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering – since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:5-10).
How can you join Jesus’ kingdom?
“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel” (Colossians 1:13-23a).
Every one of us has sinned against the holy God (Romans 3:23). We’ve broken God’s laws such as these:
• Loving God above all (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37)
• Loving neighbor as oneself (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:39)
• Honoring parents (Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4)
• Not committing adultery or lust (Exodus 20:14; Matthew 5:28)
We deserve sin’s punishment—separation from God by eternal death in hell (Romans 6:23). Good deeds cannot save us because even one sin requires judgment by the just Judge (James 2:10; Isaiah 64:6; Romans 3:10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; Revelation 20:11-15).
Because of God’s great love, He sacrificed His own Son on the cross in the place of believing sinners (John 3:16; Romans 5:8). Jesus rose from the dead, proving His victory over sin and death. Jesus is Savior, Lord, King, God. He said, ". . . unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24b).
If God is showing you your sin and need of Jesus, repent, turning from your sin and own way of trying to please God. Believing Scripture’s truth about Who Jesus is and what He did, trust Jesus as your Savior from sin and follow Him as Lord.