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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Christ the King, Part Three

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 three:

The Solemnity of Christ the King:

Why Came the King

Part Three

“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 18:37

So, Why Came King Jesus?  Why did He come as a human baby and grow into a man not to be served, “but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”? (Matthew 20:28)
Why give up His unspeakable riches and power in glory to become flesh and blood, totally dependent on a woman and her husband for food and clothing, a rugged roof over His head, and daily protection and comfort? What did He have to gain by leaving heaven to enter our lives? St. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” 
Why did our King come to us? Here’s what He tells us in Romans 5: (6-10) – and I can only hope the person who wrote that note on Facebook someday understands this (see part one): 
“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us  (Romans 5:6-8) 
Why came King Jesus? All those who know Him can answer that question with one word. ‘Love.’ Unconditional love. He loves you and me despite our sins – even as we spit in His face, even as we pulled away the shoulder and looked down our nose at Him. He loves us. Without condition. Without wavering. 
Yes – those who pull away the shoulder and mock His love will – without doubt and without a second chance after death – spend eternity in the lake of fire – but it is not HE who sends us there. We choose to go there. God prepared that place NOT for people, but for the devil and his demons: 
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46) 
We deliberately, methodically, intentionally step over every barrier and obstacle He places in our path, again and again, until we are bruised and bleeding from banging into His barriers and over His obstacles. 
We own every step of our journey toward hell. 
Eternal death and eternal life. It's our choice. That's why Solomon wrote: "It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2 
Death is the end every man and woman faces. That is why the King pleads with us: "Pay attention! Take to heart where you're headed on your life-journey.
I covered three points in this three-part essay: (1) Jesus is King. His Kingship is more certain than gravity itself. His Kingship is more extensive than eternity itself. (2) Jesus is a richly benevolent King. A loving, merciful, compassionate, and gracious King; and (3) Jesus came that you and I might worship Him, because in worshiping Him we become like Him. Think how your life would be different if you better imitated Jesus. I certainly wonder myself how my life would be different if I better imitated Him. 
Why came the King? To invite you and me into His loving embrace. 
Will you come?

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