Lent Devotion for March 27
"Jesus’ Exaltation Predicted"
Reader: "At the name of Jesus…"
Response: "…every knee should bow."
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 24:3-4
3 Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies.
SCRIPTURE: Acts 1:9-1
9 After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. 10 As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
SCRIPTURE: Philippians 2:9
8 He humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Reader: “The word of the Lord."
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
It has always bothered me greatly, and in fact, made me very angry when people ridicule Christ, mocking his words and the Scripture as a fantasy and irrelevant book. Some people have sarcastically declared he never existed, but was a phantom person for weak fearful people to believe in. Watching the arrogance of a Christopher Hitchens or a Richard Dawkins in a conversation with a believer or reading what they have written not only angers but also saddens me. I’m saddened because Hitchens now knows the truth concerning the Creator he denied existed*. He passed away in 2011. Humility is central in the exaltation of Christ. Jesus humbled himself before the Father. A pure heart and clean hands are by products, if you will, of humbling ones self before God. At the ascension of Christ, the two angels told those present that Jesus would return to earth in the same glorious manner he left. In Paul’s letter we see stated very plainly “every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth” and declare “Jesus is Lord.” All those who have followed Christ, will bend the knee with great joy and love for their Savior and Lord. But this does not mean that all created beings will do so of their own volition and devotion to the Lord. Those who have lived in rebellion will simply have to bend the knee and declare what is the truth, Christ is Lord, some of them admitting it for the first time. Let us encourage those around us to proclaim him Lord now of their own free will while that opportunity still exists.
*Eternity is a long time to be wrong.
MUSIC: "At the Name of Jesus" by Ralph Vaughan Williams
O God our Father, help us to nail to the cross of thy dear Son the whole body of our death, the wrong desires of the heart, the sinful devising of the mind, the corrupt apprehensions of the eyes, the cruel words of the tongue, the ill employment of hands and feet; that the old man being crucified and done away, the new man may live and grow into the glorious likeness thy Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, the world without end. Amen.
–Eric Milner-White, 1884-1964