Summary: This sermon discusses how Jesus will hand over His kingdom to the Father at the end of all things. It is on a Christ the King Sunday.
November 20, 2005 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. (NIV)
What are some of the greatest dynasties that have ever existed? Some of you might think of sports teams - like the Packers of the 60’s, the Bulls of the 90’s, or the Rangers of the 80’s. Or some of you might think of political dynasties - such as the Napolean Dynasty or the Herodian Dynasty.
Dynasties come, and dynasties go. Throughout the rise and fall of kingdoms, Jesus has continued to rule through them all. But as we will see from today’s text -
Christ Will Have An End to His Dynasty
I. As this time comes, we can celebrate the accomplishments in His past
When a dynasty ends, it is usually followed by a huge celebration. I remember when Michael Jordan retired, they held a huge ticker tape parade for him and many shows were dedicated to the end of the dynasty. If any of us could dream of a way to end a career that would have been it.
On Judgment Day, it will be the end of a dynasty. Jesus will have finished His work and presented it to the Father at the end of His dynasty. We can really appreciate this when we realize the calling that Jesus had. It wasn’t an easy job or a mindless job. He had the call to be King. When we look at the history of what kings were expected to do, we realize how difficult this was. When Saul was anointed as King, they expected him to build up their army so that their people and their borders would be safe. He was expected to go and fight against the enemies. Another added difficulty was that underlings often questioned the authority of the king and rebelled against them. The same things happen today.
When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, He was being anointed to be King. Some expected Him to usurp the government and start an earthly kingdom. But they didn’t understand that Jesus came to rule a much more difficult kingdom - a spiritual one. All of his “subjects” were on the pathway to hell - and Jesus had to save them. He also had to fight against armies greater than any physical enemies. As Paul said in Ephesians 6: our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
As we look at what Jesus has done during these past 2,000 years as King, we can see that He has made the most of His talents. He didn’t just sit back in a chair and ask others to risk their lives to save our souls. He came down from His throne in heaven - and got down in the battle trenches. The devil came and tried to usurp His throne, but Jesus knocked Him out. Sin was put on His back, but Jesus shook it off. God’s wrath came crashing down on Jesus on the cross, but Jesus lived to tell about it. Death covered His body, but three days later, He left it behind as well. With this death and life, Jesus saved us from the disaster that Adam put us in. He defeated sin, death, and the devil. As a result of this, Paul says, For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. It’s as if Jesus dug our bodies from the grave and breathed eternal life back in them. Christ gave us a free ride to heaven through His death and resurrection - He performed His duty as King completely.