The Apostle Paul was feeling restless in his ministry in Asia Minor. Then a turning point in his life came. He saw a vision of a man asking him to come to Macedonia. Paul arrived in Europe for the first time and made his way to Philippi, which evidently had a very small Jewish population. There was no synagogue there and there have been no Jewish names found on the early church rolls. This was a new experience for Paul. He was accustomed to beginning his work in the local synagogues. However, this new church started by Paul, quickly became dear to him. More than most, the Philippians loved and supported Paul.
After Paul left Philippi, he was placed under house arrest in Rome. Later he was moved, for stricter security, to the barracks of the Praetorian Guard attached to the Caesar’s Palace. It was from this Roman prison that Paul wrote the letter to the Philippian church. Strangely enough, a theme of pure joy shines forth from this letter so much that many have called Philippians, an epistle of joy.
Paul included a portion of an early Christian song in the middle of Philippians. There is evidence that this song was in use in Christian worship as soon as ten years after the ascension of Christ. The song presents Christ in all His glory willingly submitting to living among us. It is found in Philippians 2:5-11, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” NASU
There is nothing in our minds that can compare with the sacrifice of Christ leaving His throne to come live among us, and yet we are told to have that same attitude. We cannot comprehend what that transition was like for Him. We cannot begin to imagine what it was like to willingly allow His creation to nail Him to a cross. We have no idea what it was like for the One who had perfect fellowship with His father to suddenly be deprived of that fellowship. We have no idea what it was like for the One who knew no sin to suddenly have the sin of the whole world dumped on His perfectly innocent shoulders.
Neither do we really have any idea what it means that He has been highly exalted and given the name which is above ever name. I think we can however, understand what is meant when it says that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess. It seems to me that in heaven and on earth and under the earth makes it clear. One day, every believer and every unbeliever, every eternally saved person and every eternally lost person, will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It will bring honor and glory to God the Father but it will be too late to save the lost. Bow and confess now before it is eternally too late.