Confession, Death, and Exaltation
In Luke 22:66–71 Jesus is lead before the Sanhedrin Council and asked if He were indeed the Christ. He responds by asking them if they will believe anything He has to say or if they will release Him if he answers their question. Jesus’ response is rhetorical; He knew, and they knew, the answer. The Lord then states the following truth, “Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.”
Obviously frustrated, and somewhat taken aback, by the Lord’s response the council modifies their original question by asking, “Are You then the Son of God?” Jesus’ reply will cost Him His life, “You rightly say that I am.” The council chamber is filled with the sound of shock and dismay over the blasphemous words they had just heard. This Man had just exalted Himself to equality with the one true and living God (Exodus 3:14). Had it been any other it would have indeed been blasphemy; the penalty for such a crime was death.
There are several things one should consider from this text. Jesus knew that His confession would lead to His death (Matthew 17:12; Luke 9:22). But He also knew that His obedience to the Father would result in His ultimate resurrection and exaltation. The process herein sets an example that is imperative for every man to follow if he wishes to have eternal life.
Confession: Just as Jesus confessed that He was the Christ, the Son of God, we too must make the same confession. The Ethiopian Eunuch stated, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:37). That confession is essential for everyone who wishes to have everlasting life (Romans 10:9; 1 John 4:15)! Jesus stated clearly, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32–33). This confession is to be made both in word and in action. The sobering words of the apostle Paul should serve all as warning enough, “As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).
Death: Yet contrary to popular, ecumenical teaching a confession of the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, is not in and of itself enough to save anyone. As mentioned previously the confession is not limited to a verbal affirmation of the truth, but the life one lives. Even as Jesus knew that His confession would lead to His death we must realize that the confession we make necessitates our death. Paul said he died daily (1 Corinthians 15:31) and Jesus demanded, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Luke 9:23–24). This death demands that one puts away his own selfish desires and be obedient to the will of God (Romans 6:3–6).
Resurrection and Exaltation: The previous verse in Romans 6 assures us that if we are planted in the likeness of His death then we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection raised up. In 1 Corinthians 6:14 we read, “And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.” Jesus was indeed exalted following His death as He foretold (Philippians 2:9) and God will exalt all those who will humble themselves and follow in His steps (1 Peter 5:6; James 4:10).
Have you confessed the name of Jesus with your words and actions before both God and men, or are you ashamed to confess Him as your King? Have you died to self and been buried with Him in baptism? Do you live each day with the hope and expectation of being resurrected and exalted? Jesus knew what the confession He made would bring and was willing to go there for you…are you willing to go there for Him? Eternal life demands that we do!