Christ is King

Written by Joel on December 18th, 2010

Nov 21, 2010
Christ the King
Luke 23:33-43

Notes:

It may be helpful to point out the origin of the feast day – in the midst of two world wars, political leaders who had risen up and brought down nations. These leaders like Hitler and Mousolini who demanded loyality and allegeniance. It was in the face of these tyrants that the reality of Christ’s kingship is reaffirmed. Declaring that Christ is King, and no one else, is quite risky.

What kind of king is this? A naked king; a suffering king; a condemned king; a powerless king; a betrayed king; a dead king. If he was a king, where was his army to protect him? If he was a king, where were his loyal subjects? If he was a king, where was his dignity? It was simply a ridiculous notion to see Christ as King. And so they taunted him.
It is on this day that we declare Christ is King, but the church has not choosen the texts of the resurrection, the ascension, or images from Revelation of Christs return in glory. Instead, we have the scene on the cross.

Visiting Williamsburg it was interesting to learn about what it was like to live under the rule of a king (yes, even here in the United States, if you go back far enough). You were subjects of the king, and even simple words of disloyalty could get you killed. The followers of Jesus lived under a king – Ceasar and everyone had to swear their allegience to him. To say anyone other than Ceasar is Lord was treason, and you would face the same fate as Christ.

But how ludicris it must have seemed to say Christ is Lord, especially as he hung there on the cross, a condemned man, an enemy of the state. If he was a king, where was his army to protect him? If he was a king, where were his loyal subjects? If he was a king, where was his dignity? It was simply a ridiculous notion to see Christ as King. And so they taunted him. If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself. He can save others, but he cannot save himself. And the very sign that lay over his head: This is the King of the Jews, this tangled man on the cross, condemned and dying, this is your king?

illustration: all the pomp and circumstance that surrounds a royal visit. Have you ever seen on on tv – perhaps Queen Elizabeth with a different dress everyday, people bowing down, making royal gestures, in the huge castle, full military honors. And here we have Christ the king, stripped, beaten, hung on the cross.

The thief on the cross next to Jesus was that loyal subject. He too was condemned, beaten, dying. He had no where else to rely but on the kingship of Jesus.


 

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