Saturday, November 24, 2018

Pentecost 27 - Proper 29 Christ the King

Pentecost 27 – Proper 29
November 25, 2018
John 18:33-37

Behold your king!

Pilate asks “are you a king?” This peasant preacher. Jesus of Nazareth – Is He a king? This prophet. Who enters the capital city on a donkey – Could He be a king? Where are His palaces? His bodyguards? Is this a king who stands before Pilate with a crown of thorns on His head, a reed in His tied hands, and with rags for a regal robe? A King – Are you kidding? Jesus is every inch a king because –
  1. He was born a king
  2. He lived as a king
  3. He died as a king
  4. He conquered as a king
I.        He was born a king – He has an eternal throne.

A.     The wise men who “saw His star in the east,” came to worship Him. As they entered the city of Jerusalem they asked, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” –Matthew 2:2

B.     The response of these wise men to Jesus is entirely appropriate, and their actions serve as a model of all true discipleship. They seek Christ (v. 2), and when they had found Him they rejoice (v. 10), and worship Him (vv. 2, 11a).  They offer Him gifts that befit a king. (v. 11b; see Psalm 45:7-9; 72:15)

II.     He lived as a king – “A ruler is most powerful…when he tends to the needs of his subjects.” (–Danker)  People with power not only take what they want because they can do so unpunished, but also because they intuitively feel they are entitled to do so. Conversely, people who lack power not only fail to get what they need because they are disallowed to take it, but also because they intuitively feel they are not entitled to it.

A.     Speaking to Pilate as He stood trial Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:6

B.     It is the kingdom of heaven, and it belongs to another world. Christ is a king, and He has a kingdom, but it is not of this world. His kingdom is not by succession, election, or conquest, but by the immediate and special designation of the divine will and counsel.

Its nature is not worldly. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17). Its riches and powers are spiritual. The ministers of state in Christ’s kingdom have not the spirit of the world.  

In this kingdom. Its guards and supports are not worldly. Its weapons are spiritual. It neither needed nor used secular force to maintain and advance it. It opposed no other kingdom. But that of sin and Satan.

Its tendency and design are not worldly. Christ neither aimed nor would allow His disciples to aim at the pomp and power of the great men of the earth.

Its subjects, however, they are in the world, yet they are not of the world. They are called and chosen out of the world. They are born from, and bound for, another world.
They are neither the world’s pupils nor its darlings. They are neither governed by its wisdom. Nor enriched with its wealth.

III.   He died as a king – Behold your king. “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” –INRI

A.     In His suffering, agony, crucifixion, and death He offers life and salvation to all who would believe in Him.  In His cruel death the Father offers clemency to all who are convicted of sedition against Him.  C.S. Lewis describes it this way, “”When an innocent victim who had committed no treachery dies in a traitor’s stead the table would crack and death itself begins to work backward.” - “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

B.     Do you believe this?  The cruel cross of Calvary always looms ahead of us. Does the death of a condemned man seem compelling enough to offer atonement? Could His life and sacrifice really save you?  The surroundings and the circumstances of His death are the means by which we find peace with God and absolution for our sin.   

IV. He conquered as a king – George Handle in his work the Messiah has his chorus sing, “And He shall reign forever and ever, King of Kings and Lord of Lords” –

A.    In the book of Revelation St John writes, “Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”  Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:  “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, forever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” Revelation 5:11-14    

B.    As subjects of this king you have been given the hope and promise that you too will live and reign with Him in glory.

Is this Jesus a king? Most certainly He is – He was born, He lived, He died a king. When He appears in glory. We shall see Him as He is – The Alpha and the Omega – King of Kings and Lord of Lord. “Even so come quickly Lord, even now, Amen”

Passive Sentences –9%
Readability – 80%
Reading level – 5.2
Image © Higher Things

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