THE LIFE OF CHRIST IN REVIEW.
Golden Text: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him,
and given him a name which is above every name."--Phil. 2:9.
THIS lesson is appointed, in the International Series, as a review of the Bible studies for the preceding six months--all of which have related to our Lord Jesus' birth, life and experiences from boyhood to his resurrection. We trust that our readers have followed the studies connectedly, and we can only wish that they have received as much benefit as we from this course of studies. We will not again go into details, but will suggest that it may be profitable for each reader to review this series of lessons, and to seek to have and to hold well in mind the main thoughts therein developed.
Our Golden Text is a very precious one. It assures us that our dear Redeemer, whose faithfulness to the Father's will and whose sympathy for the dying race, led him to endure the cross, despising the shame, was not permitted of the Lord to suffer a permanent loss through his generosity and obedience. If there were no other text of Scripture pertinent to the subject in the Bible, this one alone would be convincing to us that our Lord Jesus is no longer a man. Man, we are to remember, was created very good, an image of God--but an image on a lower plane than angels, and on a very much lower plane, therefore, than our dear Redeemer before he humbled himself to take the human nature. "What is man that thou art mindful of him?...Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, thou crownedst him with glory and [R3378 : page 174] honor"--in his Edenic perfection. Our Lord as a perfect man would be grand and far above men, but as a perfect angel he would be a still grander being, still farther above man. Hence, if our Lord were a mighty angel now, it would still mean that he had suffered a great loss as a result of his atonement work for man; and if he were a perfect man, it would mean still greater loss on our behalf. But this was not necessary, not purposed, and is not the fact. He left the glory, humbled himself, came down and accomplished the work necessary, paid the price--a man's life for a man's life--and our Golden Text gives the result: "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name."
Another Scripture, speaking of our Lord's present exaltation, declares that he is exalted "far above angels, principalities and powers, and every name that is named." (Eph. 1:21.) We believe these Scriptures, and in harmony with them we believe that God's character for justice and benevolence is demonstrated by this high exaltation of him who was faithful unto death as the man Christ Jesus. He is now a partaker of the divine nature, a spirit being of the very highest order--of the same order with the Father himself. This thought of our dear Redeemer not losing eventually by the great sacrifices he endured for us must be gratifying to all who are truly his and who love him. But, additionally, we have another source of satisfaction in thinking of our Master's glorification, and that is that the promise is to us who are faithful to him, that we may yet share his nature, share his glory, share his name, share his exaltation, share his divine nature. O, wonderful wisdom and grace and goodness of our God! We call upon our souls with every power within us to praise and laud and magnify his great and holy name, honored before his people through his great and wonderful plan, revealed to his people through his wonderful Word!