Hymn Story

He Is Exalted

Hymn Lists

by book of Bible

Twila Paris (born 1958) writes and sings Christian songs.  She released her first album in 1965, when she was only seven years old.  Since that time, she has written a number of songs that have become Christian standards, has produced nearly two dozen albums, and has won numerous awards and accolades, including five Dove Awards.

“He Is Exalted” is a song of praise.  First it says, “He is exalted,” and then pledges, “I will praise His name.”

The word “exalted” deserves our attention.  My dictionary defines exalt as (1) “to raise in rank, power, or character” or (2) “to elevate by praise.”

Peter spoke of God exalting Christ “to be a Prince and a Savior” (Acts 5:31; see also Acts 2:33).

But I especially appreciate what Paul said in his great hymn to Christ in Philippians 2:5-11.  He first recounts how Christ Jesus, who had existed in the form of God, came into our world as a servant, “becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross.”  Then he concludes:

Therefore God also highly exalted him,
and gave to him the name which is above every name;
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth,
and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Stop to reflect on those words.  Imagine every knee bowing to Christ.  Imagine the angels in heaven bowing before Christ.  Imagine every knee on Earth bowing in submission to Jesus. Imagine even those “under the earth”—those who have died and have been buried—rising up to bow before the risen Lord.

Christ’s exaltation began with his resurrection, which attested to his power over death.  That was followed by his ascension (his return to heaven) and his heavenly enthronement.  His exaltation will culminate with his Second Coming, at which he will sit on his throne judging all the peoples of the world—separating sheep (those who are fit for God’s kingdom) from goats (those who are not) (Matthew 25:31-46; see also 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Revelation 20:11-15).

This is what we mean when we sing, “He is exalted, the King is exalted on high.”

Scripture quotations from the World English Bible.

Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan