“For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:27–28, KJV)
Prior to entering fulltime vocational ministry, I worked in a variety of technical fields. One was for a company that manufactured industrial printing machines. These machines could cost up to three-million dollars. They would take two to three months to install. One of my jobs was to manage the installation of these machines and then turn them over to the customer.
As I worked on these installations, there were often difficulties which I had to resolve. They could be anything from work scheduling, labor issues, installation materials, mistakes made in manufacturing and installation, etc. Yet, after negotiating all the issues and completing the installation, it came time for the test runs, and customer acceptance. When the customer accepted the final product, it was like turning over the keys of the machine to them. They took full ownership and use of the machine. I have to say, at that point, I always had a good feeling. In essence, the machine was no longer my concern but the customer’s.
In these verses, it is somewhat difficult to grasp what Paul is stating. However, if we think of it as a statement of completing the mission, perhaps we can better grasp the thought. Jesus, was given a great mission by the Father. It began with His incarnation. He lived a sinless life and was qualified to go to the cross, on which He paid the penalty of sin for us. His resurrection was the proof that this portion of His mission was completed and also guaranteed the future resurrection of all who would believe in Him and this finished work.
However, there was still work left to be done in His mission. First Corinthians 15:27-28 speak of the part of His mission yet to be completed. Paul wrote that God would make everything to be in subjection to Jesus. The one exception is God the Father. There will be a perfect order maintained in the Trinity. The son is executing the mission of the Father. What is yet to be completed? As we stand right now, it is the rapture of the church. It is the subduing of the enemies of God, that is all rulers, dominions, and unbelievers, not aligned with the purposes of God. It is putting an end to all the ungodly, Satan and his demonic hoard, and all unrighteousness. It is the final judgment. Last, it includes the recreation of the heavens and the earth.
Following the completion of the mission, Jesus will deliver the kingdom to God, complete, and perfect, just as the mission was assigned. With the work accomplished, His servant’s role is completed. Jesus then will take His rightful and glorious place in trinitarian glory reigning with the Father over all. This is the eternal state. Moreover, we who have believed will enjoy this indescribable place in eternal glory forever.