Summary: Sermon for Christ The King Sunday The first illustration carries the theme of "urban legends" about the King of Denmark wearing a Jewish armband in WW II. True or false? When Pilate questioned Jesus he thought he was dealing with "urban legends" that
In Jesus Holy Name November 25, 2012
Text: Acts 1:11 Redeemer
“Christ Our King Will Return”
Perhaps you have heard this story. It's a great story: Many years ago, when Hitler's forces occupied Denmark, the order came that all Jews in Denmark were to identify themselves by wearing armbands with yellow star of David. The Danes had seen the extermination of Jews in other countries and guessed that this was the first step in that process in their countries. The King did not defy the orders.
He had every Jew wear the star and he himself wore the Star of David. He told his people that he expected every loyal Dane to do the same. The King said, "We are all Danes. One Danish person is the same as the next." He wore his yellow star when going into Copenhagen every day in order to encourage his people. The King of Denmark identified with his people, even to the point of putting his own life on the line.
It's a wonderful story with a powerful point. The only problem is it isn't true. It's an urban legend. It's been around for a long time and told thousands of times over. And now with the internet we are getting a lot of these legendary stories retold. (illustration from Sermons.com-Leonard Sweet)
When Jesus was on trial before Pilate, Pilate had a serious question. "Are you the king of the Jews?" "Is that your idea," Jesus said to him, "or did others talk to you about me?" Pilate responded: “What is truth?” Scripture provides us with no intonation or inflection, so we do not know how Pilate asked the question. But we do know that Pilate turned away. He offered Jesus back to the Jews. You see there was an urban legend that had developed around the ministry of Jesus. It was said that he was going to lead a revolt against Rome. Pilate heard the Galilean’s reply….but “some say” that he did not act upon it, as far as we know. Others said that the disciples stole his body and spread the lie that Jesus was alive. Recent books and movies proclaim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered children.
That's how these legends get started. Other people talking about what other people have said. Jesus was essentially crucified on gossip and rumor. Urban legend or truth?
In his conversation with Pilate, Jesus finally does imply that he is a king. "My kingdom," he explains, "is not of this world." Not of this world.
Pilate and Jesus. Kingdoms in conflict. Over “What is truth?” It happens to be a serious question in our culture these days.
What was the truth about the presidential election and events in Florida four years ago….? Why was Ohio, Virginia, Florida, & Wisconsin so important in this recent election? Is the president elected by popular vote or the Electoral College? Should this even be a debate? Where is truth? What is the real truth regarding General Petreus? What is the truth about the present Mid East conflict? Who really started it?
Did our founding fathers really believe in God? What was their view of God? Did they base our constitution on the Juedo-Christian ethic and the Ten Commandments? Why is it OK to display the Jewish Menorah on public property, an in public schools during Hanukah and the Muslim Crescent during Islamic holy days …..but not the manger during Christmas?
So why did Santa Monica recently outlaw all seasonal displays. Does that mean Santa Monica will also outlaw Christmas Caroling? Do they know yet? Why would a school district in Washington cancel Thanksgiving and call it a day of mourning for land taken from American Indians? (2007) Why does a recent history book lesson used in a grade school class room in Texas tell the story of the Boston Tea Party but note that it was a group “terrorist” who threw expensive merchandize over board into the Boston Harbor. (2012) Where is truth?
Recent books and movies proclaim that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and fathered children. Where is truth? Bill O’Rielly on his radio program a few years ago asked: “Why is Christianity under attack in our culture?”
The answer is really quite simple….. These two kingdoms, the kingdom of Pilate and the Kingdom of Jesus, are not compatible. The kingdom of God and the kingdom of man do not see eye to eye. They are in conflict.
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
It is a cryptic passage. There was no way that Jesus could explain to Pilate the nature of his kingdom. How do you explain to a person who is totally immersed in a material world what a spiritual kingdom is? It is like trying to explain color to a person who has never even seen light, or music to a person who has never heard a single sound.