Christ’s reward is not dependent upon man or any supposed freewill decision of man. What do I mean by that? In listening to lyrics I have heard many times before, the question posed in Stuart Townsend’s ‘How Deep the Father’s Love for Us‘ – “why should I gain from His reward?” resonated with me in a new way. The question initiated a reflection on what exactly Christ’s reward is, and in what way do I gain from His receiving His reward?
Jesus Christ’s reward is the reward for His obedience to the Father. It is Jesus’ obedience even unto death that the Father has raised Him up and made Him King and Ruler over all (Philippians 2:8-11).
It is Jesus’ voluntarily giving His life as a perfect ransom to be the propitiation (satisfaction) for God’s wrath in the place of all who would trust Him (Romans 3:25) that He earned His right as the King of Glory (Psalm 24:7-10)
Jesus’ name means Savior, and He came to actually save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
His people are the ones the Father gave to the Son (John 17:24)
All of whom the Father gave to the Son would come to Him (John 6:37).
None of the people given to the Son from the Father would be turned away, and Jesus promises to give them glorified bodies at the resurrection (John 6:37-40).
Each person the Father gave to the Son is the one for whom Christ shed His blood (Ephesians 1:7).
Each person Christ died for He grants them eternal life based on the authority given to the Son by the Father (John 17:2; Matthew 11:27).
Every sinner Christ died for is granted ears to hear the voice of the Son of God and is raised to eternal life (John 5:24-25).
These sinners hear Christ’s voice and follow Him because they are His sheep, and no one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand or Jesus’ hand (John 10:27-30).
Jesus’ death and resurrection guarantees the salvation of His sheep, because Jesus’ sheep are the reward the Father gives to the Son for His obedience (Romans 5:8-11; Ephesians 1:5).
Rewarding Jesus with redeemed sinners means that Jesus will be worshiped, served, loved, and honored for eternity (Revelation 5).
To say that Jesus’ reward is not dependent upon man, is to say that Jesus’ exaltation is not dependent upon man (Philippians 2:9; John 17:5).
From eternity past, before the foundation of the world, the triune God determined that Jesus would be exalted through the redemption of sinners (Revelation 13:8).
God determined that Jesus would actually satisfy the wrath His elect deserved, that they would never taste a drop of His wrath (Romans 3:23-26).
Just as Jesus was foreordained before the world began to atone for the sins of His elect, so too were God’s elect foreordained to receive Christ’s atoning sacrifice (1 Peter 1:1-21).
It is impossible for Christ’s elect not to come to saving faith, because Christ’s elect are His reward for every drop of blood that He shed for them (Ephesians 5:25; Acts 20:28).
As God works all things to the counsel of His will, it is impossible to rob Him of His glory (Ephesians 1:11; Psalm 106:8; Isaiah 48:11).
What God declares from the beginning will come to pass, and this includes His greatest work in all of His creation – fulfilling His plan of redemption to the glory of God the Father (Isaiah 46:10; Romans 11:33-36).
Our salvation, therefore, is God-centered and God-dependent, not man-centered or man-dependent (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.
Having been ransomed by the blood of Jesus Christ, I have the benefit of being an adopted son of God, a priest, a king, a slave to righteousness, a true worshiper, a citizen of heaven, a forgiven sinner, and a saint.
Christ’s reward is my gain, and there is no greater gain than knowing the God who has granted me eternal life to the praise of His glorious grace.
Because of the Father’s love for the Son, the Son is guaranteed the reward for His suffering, and I am guaranteed to know the riches of His mercy and the heights, widths, and depths of the Father’s love for me in Jesus Christ.
How great is His love! How great is our God!
My only question for you, dear reader, is: Do you know Him?