We’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Last time we started looking at how Christ was exalted by his resurrection. We saw that Christ was exalted by moving from a dead state to a living state. Now I want to show that understanding who raised Christ also reveals his exaltation
It is important to know who exalts you. If you are given a certificate by your Kindergarten Teacher, your exaltation is not a big deal. Sorry kids. But if you are given a certificate by the Queen, it is a big deal. Why? Because of the identity of the person exalting you.
If Jesus was exalted by his resurrection from the dead, who raised him? God. But there are three persons in the Godhead: God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit. So who raised Jesus from the dead and exalted him?
The Bible says that God the Father exalted Jesus. When he introduces himself in one of his letters Paul says: ‘Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead…’ (Galatians 1:1).
So God the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Such an action by God the Father certainly exalts Jesus to us. If God the Father deemed him worthy of resurrection, Jesus must be exalted.
Yet the Bible also says the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. Paul says in Romans ‘And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you’ (Romans 8:11).
So the Holy Spirit also raised Jesus from the dead. The Spirit’s involvement in the resurrection further exalts Christ. If two members of the trinity deemed Jesus worthy of resurrection, he is exalted indeed.
Yet the Bible also says that Jesus raised himself from the dead. Jesus says in John’s gospel: ‘The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life–only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father’ (John 10:17-18).
Jesus had power to raise himself from the dead. This was only possible as he is both God and man. No dead human is able to do anything other than lie there and rot. But Jesus had power to raise himself from the dead.
So who raised Jesus from the dead? All three members of the trinity! Thus Jesus is highly exalted.
Why is this important for you to understand? So that you too may be raised by God when you die. Jesus says: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ (John 11:25-26).
I ask you too, do you believe this?