The Cross and the Lordship of Christ
Well, this, His spiritual house, has been brought into being for no other purpose or no greater purpose than that - just to stand entirely in the enjoyment of the proclamation of the exaltation of the Lord Jesus. When you come to think of it, is not that the primary and deepest meaning and purpose of the Cross? The Cross may do many things, touch many questions and many issues, but when you get down to the meaning of the Cross at its deepest, it relates to the deposing of other gods. That was the great issue in the twenty-fourth chapter of Joshua, you remember. In reviewing the whole situation, Joshua has all Israel before him, and he begins with the history of Israel right back to the time of Abraham's father. "Abraham's father lived in Ur of the Chalees and served other gods. Then Abraham came out from the serving of his father's gods and crossed over the river and came into the land. After this your fathers came into Egypt and there they worshiped the gods of the Egyptians; but at length they also came out over the river to serve the Lord." The whole issue was other gods and the river between the other gods and the Lord every time.
Now then, what about you? says Joshua. Are you going to allow the river really to stand effectively for what it means? Are you going to allow that river really to stand between you and the other gods which you worshiped and served in Egypt?" As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." What about you? So the river was always related to other gods. The Cross, in its deepest meaning, touches other gods, other lords, other objects of worship receiving the good of our lives, and deposes them all, and brings the Lord into His place, so that we say, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." That is the meaning of the Cross. It touches everything that stands in the way of the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ. It gets right down there.
The Lord Jesus Exalted as Our Kinsman
By then there is this other or further very blessed fact about the exaltation of the Lord Jesus. He is exalted as our Kinsman. The exaltation of Christ is the exaltation of our Brother. That comes out, you see, in the record David said, "Of all my sons (for Jehovah hath given me many sons), he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of Jehovah over Israel" (1 Chronicles 28:5). Then later, when speaking of Solomon's enthronement, the record says, And all the sons of David bowed down and did obedience to Solomon and submitted themselves unto him. A great thing - his brethren all looking up to him as on the throne and acknowledging his as king. This is a permanent factor in all the types about the exaltation of the Lord Jesus.
In the Book of Samuel, again you have that time when Absalom had usurped the throne and brought a great deal of misery and suffering upon the people to whom he had promised so much; and then Absalom was slain and the people were stranded. For some time everything was in a state of suspense, until there arose a questioning among the people, and someone said, "Why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back?" That became a rumor, and it got out over to where David was. David heard what was being said, and he took hold of it and sent a message to Zadok and Abiathar for the people, expressing himself thus: I am your flesh and your bone; ye are my brethren; why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back? His appeal for his place was on the basis of his kinship and they brought him back on the basis of that appeal.
Now, what is the meaning and value of that? Well, God has exalted our Brother, God has exalted our Kinsman, and that Kinsman is God's Son and He, as the Apostle puts it, is going to bring many sons to glory because He is the first-born among many brethren. The exaltation of our Kinsman means that the family is coming to exaltation. His enthronement is the earnest of ours; and beloved, we are never sure of coming to our exaltation,our fullness, until we recognize the Lord Jesus in His place as our Kinsman-representative. it is an exalted family, it is a household, you see; God's house for the Son, and then sons. But the Son must have His place before the sons can have theirs; but, having His place, the sons have their guaranteed to them. Our Kinsman is exalted, and that says a great deal; because He is not exalted just as a despot, just an officially appointed monarch whether we like it or not - God has chosen Him, selected Him, put Him in that position; now then, Bow the knee! Oh no; He is our Brother, our Kinsman, and there is such a tie,such a link, such a oneness of life, that He cannot be there apart from us. There is an inward spiritual oneness with Him in His exaltation which spells something very big.
(continued with # 4)