Isaiah 50:6 I gave My back to those who strike Me, And My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.
It is an interesting and ironic thing this cross of Jesus. For in it we see the humiliation of a prestigious King and the exaltation of rebellious traders.
Jesus is no doubt suffering the most shameful and dishonoring treatment imaginable for one of his stature. Never before and never again will one so prestigious as the King of heaven suffer such violent mistreatment at the hands of humanity. It would be socially appalling if someone who does relative good in society suffered mistreatment by a government or a religious group. But consider the infinite exponent attached to the unfettered hatred unloaded upon the face, brow and back of the sinless one Jesus the Christ. Isaiah prophesying some 800 years prior tells us that Jesus was “marred more than any man” (Is. 52.14).
So it is here in the ironic and shameful humiliation of Jesus that we find our exaltation.
Jesus suffered at the hands of sinners the external application of divine wrath and then ultimately suffered at the hands of his Father the full and unmitigated unleashing of heaven’s fury upon his sacred head (Matt. 27.46). It is because of this humiliation that sinners like you and me may be exalted.
As lost sinners we hate God and have been busy rebelling as our sinful hearts pump unrepentant blood through our veins since our days in the womb. However, because of the humiliation of the cross and only because of the cross, sinners may be exalted to positions of exaltation. We have not just gone from a “most wanted list” to a “do not call list”, no instead we have gone from number one spiritual terrorists to heirs of all the riches of heaven!
Consider the following verses:
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ
Romans 9:23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
All of this blessing is done by and through the humiliation of the Son. Does this not cause you to love and worship Jesus more fervent and passionately!! Can you not feel your grip on this world loosening as you begin to realize the preciousness of the Savior! He was humiliated that you might be exalted.
Christians, we can only rightly look forward to heaven while we stand in the shadow of the cross. For it is here that sinners like you and me were rescued from eternal condemnation by the selfless Savior who treasured the glory of God because we would not and gave himself up to satisfy divine righteousness because we could not and to present ugly sinners like you & me before the throne of God as “blameless, with great joy” (Jude 24).
O’ hasten that great day when we will see our exalted Savior with unhindered sight, joining with the great army of the redeemed in proclaiming the glories of our exalted King, Jesus our Lord. Until then, please do not settle for flat praise and mediocre joy. Jesus is far too precious, his glories far too delightful, and our hope is far too real!
Striving to be more impressed with Jesus,