In many liturgical churches, Sunday November 25, 2018 was known as the ‘Solemnity of Christ the King.’ I shared a message around that theme with the 55+ community I visit each week. Because of its length, I divided it into a three-part essay. Here is part two:
The Solemnity of Christ the King:
Why Came the King
“Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world . . ..” John 18:33-37
The first point of my message was this: Jesus is King. It doesn’t matter if we believe that reality or not. The truth is unchangeable. Now to the second point:
What kind of King is Jesus?
I recently read a social media post in which the writer said he would never bow to a God who demanded we worship Him – or else it’d be off to hell with rebels. I’ve turned his comment over and over in my mind for two reasons.
First, it was not the only time I’d ever heard or read such a tragically distorted view of my God. The longer I walk with Christ – going on 46 years now – the better I know that guy’s concept of God is not only distorted, but is completely foreign to the nature of God as described in the Bible.
God is not a despotic dictator, a malicious and malevolent King. That’s a description of the devil, whom Jesus called the father of lies. The Lord Jesus – who is God Almighty in the flesh of a Man – Jesus said Satan comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. (John 10:10).
But of Himself Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and that more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The Lord Jesus does not demand our worship for His own ego. He demands our worship for our good. He knows – because He created us – He knows we become like those we worship. Here is what the Holy Spirit tells us through the psalmist: (115)
But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of man’s hands. They have mouths, but they cannot speak; They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell; They have hands, but they cannot feel; They have feet, but they cannot walk; They cannot make a sound with their throat . . . .
And here is the critical verse in this psalm: “Those who make them will become like them, everyone who trusts in them.”
That’s why the psalmist continued: You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.
God offers us the unplumbed privilege of becoming like Jesus when we worship Him. Jesus – who is love itself. And compassion. And mercy. And kindness. And forgiveness. And tenderness.
How our lives would be different if we were just like Jesus! How our families be different if we were like Jesus. How our world would be different if every Christian was like Jesus.
What kind of King is Jesus? A King focused on our well-being. And He commands us to worship Him so WE might live a joyous life, rich with peace and hope and love. And that can only happen as we devote ourselves to Him in worshipful adoration.
The second reason the guy’s social media post has stayed with me is his fatally flawed idea that God sends anyone to hell. I will address that error in part three of this essay.