“He will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.” – Philippians 3:21
The kindness and glory of Christ is on full display here. Christ has the “power that enables Him to subject all things to Himself.” And rightly so. He conquered sin, death, and the grave, what other enemy can pose any kind of threat to Him? What other power or authority can come close to His? He faced the crucible of the fury of hell, wickedness, and the wrath of God, yet He came out on the other side not only unscathed, but radiant, exalted as King and Lord over all.
Yet, according to the Apostle, He won’t use His power to exert dominance over us. He will not exercise His right as Lord to subject us to servitude. He doesn’t rely upon His status and power and position to exalt Himself, He knows there is Another who will take care of that (John 8:54). Instead, He will use His power to make us like Him, dispensing amongst us the very glory that merits His position of honor and authority. He shares with us the glory that gives Him power, He doesn’t hoard it. “To this He called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14). As if His righteousness wasn’t enough…
How unlike us He is! How undeserving we are! And still He seeks to make us like Him. He assumed our form so that we could one day assume His. In fact, this was the plan from the beginning (Romans 8:29). Yet it is His sacrifice that, even after our transformation into His likeness, will cause us to consider Him as even still greater than ourselves.
Isn’t it by giving us equal beauty that we would see Him as more beautiful? Isn’t it by giving us equal dignity that we would see Him as more dignified? Isn’t it by bestowing on us equal value that we would see Him as more valuable? The shedding of His blood not only paid for but covered our sin. The breaking of His body not only absorbed, but absolved the wrath of God for us. He stepped out of Heaven, lived within the confines of a human body with human limitations, suffered the most severe affliction, loneliness, hunger, pain, isolation, hatred, betrayal, and sorrow; all from the hands of the ones He came to save. Yet isn’t it by sharing in our condition, submitting Himself to our abuse, yet still choosing to take upon Himself everything that makes us unworthy that we see Him as more worthy?
I wonder—as those soldiers dressed Him in purple, placed a crown of thorns upon His head, spat on Him and mocked Him—I wonder what kind of eyes Jesus looked at them with. He would later plea to God for them, for their forgiveness. They didn’t know what they were doing. They labeled the King a “king” and made Him a spectacle for the world to pity. They didn’t know that He didn’t want anything from them, only something for them. He wanted to give them Himself. He wanted to give them His glory.
Which is exactly what He has done. “He has transformed our lowly bodies to be like His glorious body.” We broke His body, He turned these wretched clay vessels into glorious sculptures of His grace. We betrayed Him, He called us friend (Matthew 26:50). We mocked Him, He honored us. We spat upon Him, He showered grace upon us. We pierced His heart, He gave us new hearts. We killed Him, He gave us eternal life. We abhorred Him, He glorified us. But the very act of giving away His glory heaps more glory upon Him. The very thing He loves, He shares with us. And He asks for nothing in return for this gift. Just that we receive it gladly with joyful reverence. Christ loses nothing in this exchange, but we both experience immeasurable gain.
What a beautiful, glorious, honorable, worthy King!