Jesus is more exalted than He was before the Incarnation?

Since Jesus was fully God when He left heaven, how is it a reward to Him when the Father exalted Him after his ascension since He is just getting back the same status as God that He already had?

This is a good question that can be very perplexing at first! It is true that as God, Jesus was as exalted in His Person, glory and power as possible. So in what sense could Jesus be exalted? I think there are two basic answers.

First, Jesus is exalted in regard to his humanity. It is not just Jesus the Divine Son of God who is exalted, but Jesus the God-Man that is exalted to the right hand of God. This brings His humanity (and ours in him!) to a place of exaltation never experienced before. This is an important part of His role as the Second Adam, since he is restoring what the first Adam lost, and then is carrying humanity to places of exaltation never before see. You can read more about this in Hebrews 2:5-9.

Second, even in regard to His Deity Jesus is exalted in a new way. This does not refer to a new exaltation of His Person or power (since he could not be any more exalted than He already was by virtue of being God), but rather in regard to the public notice of Who He is and of His role as judge. In the Old Testament, the Father in the dominant member of the Trinity in terms of “exposure.” That is, when we read of God in the Old Testament, it is almost always the Father Who is in view. Certainly, there are prophecies of the Son, references which seem to refer to the Trinity, and references to the pre-incarnate Son (often as the Angel of the Lord) and of the Spirit, but the overwhelming amount of the time the reference is to the Father. Now that Christ has been exalted, this is no longer the case. Now all judgment is committed to the Son (John 5:22), and it is to the Son that the Spirit gives witness (John 15:26), and at the final judgment all will bow and declare that Jesus is Lord. Thus, all things have truly become centered on the Son in a way that they simply were not prior to His incarnation, death and resurrection.