The victory He won was not left hidden in the apparent defeat of His ultimate humiliation. The validity of His justifying by going down, rather than condemning by exalting Himself, was affirmed by His being called forth from the grave. His death had been the greatest condemnation that self-exaltation could ever suffer. And His resurrection was no mere reversal of fortunes, but the beginning harvest for Him of the other-centered exaltation He reveals. Putting the Other and others first has the consequence of drawing them all to you. In God’s order they then pursue the goal of putting you first, closing the circle of beneficence. So the resurrection began His exaltation, which is still in progress, and to which we will all contribute (most, alas, unwillingly). As He unfolded to His dazed and fearful disciples these principles and the prophecies that for centuries had pointed to their fulfillment in Him, their world was transformed as with new eyes they viewed their Lord and grasped more deeply who He was and what He had accomplished in spite of and often against their lack of cooperation. They could now, in the most profound way that they had yet experienced, forsake all and follow Him. As they came to understand the cross, and entered into its reality in their hearts and lives, it brought a purity of worship and unity of spirit that had so far eluded these closest of His followers.
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