Summary: Sermon for Christ the King Sunday
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Jesus is the King of Kings!
1. He was the king of justice and love then.
2. He is still the king of justice and love now.
Dear fellow redeemed:
Nobody wants to follow a looser. Just look at the attendance in the brand new Miller Park in Milwaukee. Attendance is down at Brewers games. Why? Because they lose way to many games. Look at the attendance at last years Twins games. Because they were loosing and attendance was low there was talk about contracting the team. Nobody wants to follow a looser.
It’s not surprising then that at the time our text took place, there were not too many followers of Jesus that were willing to confess him publicly. Many disciples had already deserted him. Judas had turned his back on Jesus and betrayed him. His disciples had deserted him in the Garden of Gethsemane. The fact of the matter is this: Jesus didn’t look like the King of kings. He looked like a looser.
Kings are surrounded by their advisors and their subjects. Jesus was surrounded, but not by loyal soldiers and loving advisors, but by vicious enemies. Our text for today tells us, “Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him” (Matthew 27:27).
Kings wear expensive, designer clothes and royal robes. But not Jesus. What he had was taken from him. “They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him” (Matthew 27:28).
Kings wear a jewel encrusted royal crown. But not Jesus. Yes he had a crown as well but his crown was a crown of thorns.
Kings have a staff or scepter, a rod that symbolizes their royal power. Jesus was given one. They put a staff in his right hand.., and (they) took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.
It’s customary to kneel before a king. They knelt before Jesus but not in honor and in reverence. They knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:29), they said. They spit on him.
It’s customary to say “Long live the king!” But they didn’t say that of Jesus. In fact they did just the opposite. Then they led him away to crucify him.
His enemies wanted Jesus dead. And at this point Jesus did not look like a king. But looks can be deceiving.
So on this “Christ the King” Sunday, lets turn back to our text and be assured of this fact that even though Jesus looked like a looser, he was not. No brothers and sisters Jesus is the King of kings. 1. He was the king of justice and love then. 2. He is still the king of justice and love now.
We expect earthly justice to be carried out when people do wrong. If someone breaks into our church, smashes the pulpit, spray paints gang slogans and signs on the altar, steals our communion ware; and if they were arrested, we would expect a judge to hand them a sentence. We want the judge to hand them a stiff sentence. Justice demands punishment for wrong doing. And if the judge didn’t give them some form of punishment, we would get very upset because justice was not carried out.
God is a God of justice. He set the rules. He said, “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2).
You’re not holy. I’m not holy. We just confessed our unholiness a little while ago. We confessed our sins. Were you perfect last week? Were you always patient? Did you grumble or complain about anything? Did we love God above everything else? Have we shown it in our prayers, our study of his Word, in our gifts we brought today?
Have we shown that we love our neighbors like we love ourselves? Have we helped them, talked to them, loved them or ignored them? Failure to follow every one of God’s commands is sin. And our God of justice demands that sin be punished. “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law” (Galatians 3: 10). That curse is the curse of damnation in a real place called hell.