‘…God…highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’ (Philippians 2:9-11 NRSV)
In our last reflection we saw the kenosis of the Father in the self-emptying and self-giving of himself for our sake; both in bringing humanity into existence and bringing human beings back to himself following the decision, in our God-given freedom, to reject him.
But we also see in Scripture that the Father not only gives of himself for our sake; he also gives of himself for the sake of the exaltation of his Son.
In Luke 10:22, Jesus says:
‘All things have been handed over to me by my Father’. In context that means the Father has given the Son authority over everything. The Father doesn’t keep all authority for himself; he gives it to the Son.
We see the authority the Son is given further explained in John 5:19-27,
‘Jesus said to them, “…I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him…I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life…I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.’
Here Jesus tells us that the Father has given over the power of life and judgement to the Son. The Father gives of his own authority to judge and to give eternal life to the Son in order that the Son may be glorified.
That is true kenosis on the Father’s part; the giving of one’s own right of authority for the exaltation of another, providing an example for us to follow.
Father, thank you that the one who judges and gives life is the one who died for us.
Have a good week trusting in the Son.