Summary: We take note of the majesty of Christ, and ponder how we, sinful human beings, can approach him, on Judgment Day.
His face is covered in blue paint. The wind is blowing his long hair behind him. He lifts up his sword and shouts, and behind him a thousand men with painted faces lift up their swords and they shout too. And then, led by that one man, they all rush down into the valley, shouting, with their swords raised, as they clash with the enemy on the battlefield.
Some of you might recall that scene. It’s from a movie that was very popular a few year ago, the movie “Braveheart.” It was a movie about a man who led a rag-army against overwhelming odds - a very popular movie at the time. People like those kinds of stories, when a group of underdogs, led by a charismatic leader, face overwhelming odds. There’s a new movie out now, called “Master and Commander” – I haven’t seen it yet – I don’t know if it’s good or not. But once again, in that movie, that popular theme is there – a charismatic leader, the master and commander, leads a small group of people into battle, against overwhelming odds. That theme will probably make “Master and Commander” a popular movie.
You are a part of a real life story with that same theme. The Bible pictures our world being overrun by a very powerful enemy – the Devil, and his powerful army. His goal is to wipe out everything good created by God. And you are part of a rag-tag army that really, doesn’t stand a chance. The Devil has too many things on his side. He has power. He has wisdom. The world, even our own sinful nature, are on his side. Surely, you cannot stand up against him.
But then, there is the real-life Master and Commander – Jesus Christ. Against all odds, he leads us his people, into battle. WE are the rag-tag army rushing down the valley with our swords raised. And, because of Christ, we win. We overcome the Devil, sin, death, even the world, because of our Master and Commander, Jesus Christ.
Today is Christ the King Sunday. We call Christ our “king” because he does what a king would do – he leads his people into battle against the Devil, he fights bravely, and ultimately, he overcomes and wins the victory. Today we ponder the day that our King, Jesus Christ, will return to this earth on Judgment Day. The Bible pictures this day as a sort of victory parade, a coronation, a day when Christ is publicly crowned as our King, and we are ushered into his presence. Today, we are going to ponder that moment, and think about the question: “How will we be able to approach him on that day? How will we be able to stand in the presence of the divine master and commander?
Let’s take a look at how the Bible describes that day. In our Old Testament lesson, Daniel 7, we are shown a vision of what things will be like on that day. Verse 13: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven.” Jesus often called himself “the son of man” during his ministry on this earth. On the last day, he will return to this earth, coming with the clouds of heaven. And then, look at the following words that describe the greatness and glory of Christ on that day: “He approached the Ancient of Days,” (that’s God the Father), “and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory, and sovereign power.” All those things that people strive for in this world – authority, glory, power – all those things are given to Christ on Judgment Day. “All peoples, nations, and men of every language worshiped him.” Everyone will realize that Christ is truly God on that day. “His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” Even the greatest rulers of our world could never measure up to this description. Take, for example, the office of the president in our country. A very high office. But no one worships him. People of other countries don’t obey him. And the office of the president is very temporary – four years, eight at the most. And no matter how powerful our country becomes, there is no guarantee that our country will last forever. The greatest empires of the past have all crumbled and faded away. Power and authority are temporary in this world.
But not for Christ – the great Master and Commander. When he sits on the throne – his authority is permanent. When he sets up his kingdom – it’s one that will never, ever fade away. Everyone will worship him forever. There really is nothing we can compare that to, in our world today.