“God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). “He that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).
The only perfectly innocent person who ever lived nevertheless gave Himself to a cross whereupon He appeared to die as a common criminal. Exaltation by God followed, and the Lord Jesus Christ will forever reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
If we have trusted in the Lord Jesus as our Savior, a similar pathway awaits us on a daily basis. Many opportunities to humble ourselves await us along the path of righteousness, most of them involving quiet, internal challenges that no one other than ourselves ever see. Words that we choose not to say, reactions we restrain by the Holy Spirit’s keeping, good deeds done in a manner that do not draw attention, acts and attitudes of retribution avoided, chosen pathways of anonymity – our Lord leads us to follow retrace His footsteps in order that the Psalmist’s prayer might be fulfilled in our lives as it was in His’: “Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory!” (Psalm 115:1).
I have often shared in these messages that for me, the most shocking truth of Scripture involves the fact that when the Lord Jesus began His ministry, His own brothers did not know not who He was (John 7:5). Our Savior lived in such a quiet and unobtrusive humility during His first thirty years that no overt display of His Divinity shone forth. Doubtless, many temptations confronted Him to reveal His true nature, as in the wilderness challenge when Satan prompted the Lord to act as the God He is (Matthew 4:1-11). The Lord Jesus overcame them all, praise His Name, and as He walks in us, He purposes to do the same. Let us therefore expect the opportunities of humility whereby the character and nature of Christ leads us to “walk, even as He walked” (I John 2:6). An immediate exaltation results, namely, the Holy Spirit’s inward affirmation of peace that confirms we have chosen the path of lowliness whereupon our Savior’s footsteps still shine in the sublime glory of His humility.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-11).