Sunday Setlist #4   —   View Song   —     —   Get the Free Devo App

Play the devotional:

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.” – Philippians 2:9

As God, the eternal Son has always been worthy of our praise. Just as God the Father deserves the praise of his creatures, and God the Spirit is worthy of our worship, so the second person of the Godhead deserves our human praise. And yet, only one divine person became man. Only one added our own flesh and blood, and full human nature, to his eternal person. Only one lived perfectly as man, in our world, for more than three decades, offered up himself for the sins of his people, and then rose again in triumph.

When we as humans, and Christians, declare that Jesus is worthy, and that he deserves our praise, we do so in a special way, with a particular view to what he accomplished among us, as one of us — a feat that is, quite simply, the single greatest achievement in the history of the world.

History’s Greatest Feat

The story of his great achievement as man begins with his choosing to take up the task in the first place. As God, he had every right not to subject himself to the limitations, weaknesses, and frustrations of our creatureliness and humanity, and the pains of this fallen world. But he “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6–7).

Then, while among us, Jesus lived perfectly, as no human had before or has since, to the honor of his Father. So worthily did he live, to glorify his Father, that on the night before he died, he was able to pray with all humility, and in all sincerity, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4). He had healed “the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others” (Matthew 15:30), but even more impressively, he taught with authority that far surpassed the scribes (Matthew 7:29). Even his enemies had to acknowledge, “No one ever spoke like this man!” (John 7:46). Rightly did some, “astonished beyond measure,” find the heart to confess, “He has done all things well” (Mark 7:37).

Then, this greatest man who ever lived “set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51), knowing that there he would die (Luke 13:33). There, he said, “I finish my course” (Luke 13:32). He ran with endurance the race set before him (Hebrews 12:2). His suffering was not passive, but active — the suffering of a soldier advancing on the enemy, a farmer working toward the harvest, an athlete competing to win. In Jerusalem, he was a victim of gross injustice, but not only a victim. There he bore our cross; he died to secure our freedom; he dealt decisively with our shame. “He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

God Rewarded Him

Then, because of the achievement of his utter obedience, all the way to death, God “highly exalted him.” Literally, God super-exalted him.

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.” – Philippians 2:9

At the cross, Jesus fulfilled, in full, the great suffering-servant prophecy of Isaiah 53. He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows (verse 4). He healed us with his wounds (verse 5). He made an offering for our guilt (verse 10). He endured “the anguish of his soul” (verse 11), and kept going — not giving in, not giving up. And, as Isaiah foretold, he was rewarded because of this great accomplishment. Because “he poured out his soul to death” to bear “the sin of many,” *therefore* he was exalted, receiving the many as his portion and the strong as his spoil (verse 12).

Jesus, by his great achievement in our human flesh and blood, earned the super-exaltation of resurrection, ascension to heaven, and the highest seat of honor in the universe. “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross . . . and [therefore!] is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

In dying, the slaughtered Lamb was not only acted upon. He acted. He worked. He achieved. He triumphed. He obeyed till the end, even to death, even crucifixion. He chose his course and finished the task, and in doing so, he merited, in his humanity, in history’s greatest victory, the praises of the angels and the redeemed: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain” (Revelation 5:12). He receives our praise, and he fully deserves it.

Jesus Deserves Our Praise

When we declare that Jesus deserves our praise, we mean not only as God, not only as Creator, not only as eternal Lord. We also mean as the God-man, the one who lived among us as one of us and “offered up himself” for our sins (Hebrews 7:27) and rose again as indomitable conqueror.

We stand amazed at his achievement, history’s greatest — and all the more in that it’s for us. We say, in worship, that his name is worthy — the name above all names — and we declare, with joy, that he deserves our praise. He earned it, every ounce of it, as God and man. He is worthy of it all.