Another of Christ’s attributes is honor (Heb. 2:9; Rev. 5:12). Honor is the preciousness related to Jesus’ worth, value (“precious” in 1 Peter 2:7 is the same word in Greek as “honor” in Hebrews 2:9), and the dignity which is related to His position (2 Pet. 1:17; Rom. 13:7). Whereas glory, the expression of God, refers to a condition, honor refers to a high position, in particular to the dignity that is related to such a position. As the ascended One crowned with glory and honor, Christ is in a state of glory and has a rank of honor.
Although Christ is both the Son of God and the Son of Man, when we come to His being crowned with glory and honor, we must pay special attention to His humanity, to His being the Son of Man. It is in His humanity that He is crowned with glory and honor. As a man in His ascension to the heavens, He has been crowned in this way. The very Jesus who was born in a manger, who was raised in a poor home in Nazareth, and who had no beauty or comeliness, in His ascension has been crowned with glory and honor.
Christ also has the attribute of authority. “The crowds were astounded at His teaching, for He was teaching them as One having authority, and not as their scribes” (Matt. 7:28-29). In decreeing the new law of the kingdom of the heavens, Christ spoke with authority. The Lord’s authority is also indicated in His giving the twelve disciples authority over unclean spirits (Matt. 10:1).
John 17:2 says, “You gave Him authority over all flesh, that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.” This verse indicates that Christ the Son has the Father’s authority over all mankind so that He may give eternal life not to all mankind, but to those whom the Father has given Him. All mankind is under the authority of the Son because the Father has entrusted Him with this authority for the purpose of giving eternal life to the Father’s chosen ones.
In Matthew 28:18 the Lord Jesus says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” In His divinity as the only begotten Son of God, Christ had authority over all. However, in His humanity as the Son of Man to be the King of the heavenly kingdom, all authority in heaven and on earth was given to Him after His resurrection. As God, Christ had all authority over all before His incarnation. After He went through all the processes of incarnation, human living, crucifixion, and resurrection, as the processed and consummated God-man to be the Lord of all and the Christ of God, He was given all authority both in heaven and on earth. He is unique in authority.
Revelation 5:12 indicates that Christ has the attribute of power. Second Corinthians 12:9 says, “He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather boast in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ might tabernacle over me.” Sufferings and trials are often the Lord’s ordination for us that we may experience Christ as grace and power. In his experience Paul realized that the Lord’s grace became power spread over him like a tent. Hence, this grace-power became a dwelling place for Paul in his sufferings. As he was suffering, Paul could dwell in the tabernacle spread over him. This tabernacle, this tent, sustained him, supported him, maintained him, and kept him.
To show forth the perfectness of Christ’s power, our weakness is needed. For this reason, Paul would most gladly boast in his weakness, that the power of Christ might tabernacle over him. Grace is the supply, and power is the strength, the ability, of grace. Both are the resurrected Christ, who is now the life-giving Spirit dwelling in us for our enjoyment.
The Greek word translated “tabernacle” in 2 Corinthians 12:9 is episkenoo, a compound verb composed of epi and skenoo. Skenoo, meaning to dwell in a tent, is used in John 1:14 and Revelation 21:3. Episkenoo here means to fix a tent or a habitation upon. It portrays how the power of Christ, even Christ Himself, dwells upon us as a tent spread over us, overshadowing us in our weakness.
In Philippians 3:10 Paul speaks of the power of Christ’s resurrection. The power of Christ’s resurrection is His resurrection life which raised Him from among the dead (Eph. 1:19-20). The reality of the power of Christ’s resurrection is the Spirit (Rom. 1:4). To know, to experience, this power requires identification with Christ’s death and conformity to it. Death is the base of resurrection. To experience the power of Christ’s resurrection, we need to live a crucified life as He did. Our conformity to His death affords a base for the power of His resurrection to rise up so that His divine life may be expressed in us.
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 050-062), Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)