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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Christ the King, Part One



In many liturgical churches, this Sunday is known as the ‘Solemnity of Christ the King.’  It will be my privilege to share a message around that theme tomorrow at the 55+ community I visit each week. Because of its length, I divide it here into three parts. Here is the first:

The Solemnity of Christ the King:
Why Came the King
Part One

I beheld therefore in the vision of the night, and lo, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and he came even to the Ancient of days: and they presented him before him. And he gave him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes and tongues shall serve him: his power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and his kingdom that shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14


“[A]nd from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:5-8 

“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, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” John 18:33-37

The first of three points I want to share with anyone who cares to read this post – the first point is this: Scripture declares it from one end of the Book to the other that Jesus is King.

That’s just the way it is.

It’s like saying the earth revolves around the sun once every 365 days. And the calendar doesn’t stop dropping its pages every month just because we don’t like getting older. That’s just the way it is.

The earth inexorably pulls us toward itself. It’s called gravity. Don’t go jumping off a building, because the Law of Gravity will not suspend itself for you or me, even if we don’t like that law. That’s just the way it is.

And Jesus is King. He is more than king. He is the King of kings. He is absolute and final ruler of time, space, and eternity. And there is coming a time, more certain than gravity or the turning of the earth around the sun – there is coming a time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that yes, Jesus is Lord and King.

That’s just the way it is.

Speaking of Jesus’ Kingship, Bob Dylan, certainly not a lettered theologian, says it as simply yet as profoundly as I’ve ever heard it. Here are some of the lyrics to his song, “Gotta Serve Somebody.” 

“You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.”

“But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.”

“You may be a state trooper, you might be an young turk
You may be the head of some big TV network
You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame
You may be living in another country under another name.”

“But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.”

“You may be a preacher with your spiritual pride
You may be a city councilman taking bribes on the side
You may be working in a barbershop, you may know how to cut hair
You may be somebody's mistress, may be somebody's heir.”

“But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.”

“Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk
You might like to eat caviar, you might like to eat bread
You may be sleeping on the floor, sleeping in a king-sized bed.”

“But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.”

So, the first point of this three-part essay: Jesus is King. But the more important question, the one that will determine our eternal destiny, is this: What will we do about it?

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