Summary: A sermon for Christ The King Sunday
In Jesus Holy Name November 25, 2018
Text: Revelation 19:11-12,16 Christ the King Sunday Redeemer
“Christ Will Come as King and Judge”
This is Christ the King Sunday. The last Sunday in the Church year. Throughout this past year our Sunday Gospel lessons have invited us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus from Bethlehem to the Jordan River, to Jerusalem, the cross and the Empty Tomb.
Soon we will hear massive choirs and orchestras perform Handel’s Messiah. The music will thrill our hearts. The words will inspire us. Even non believers will stop and listen. Will the crescendo of words and music cause them to investigate the one who claims to be King of kings and Lord of lords?
This year when you hear Handel’s Messiah ask the people around you… “Did you like it?” “Do you know what the words mean?” “He shall reign forever and ever!” Let the conversation play out. For Jesus will return as King and Judge.
There is a poem I fund that captures the mindset of people in the 1st century who were looking for the Messiah. It is titled: “They missed Him.
“They were looking for a lion,
He came as a Lamb…. And they missed Him.
They were looking for a warrior,
He came as a Peacemaker…. And they missed Him.
They were looking for a king,
He came as a servant,…. And they missed Him.
They were looking for liberation from Rome,
He submitted to the Roman Cross…. And they missed Him
He came to meet their eternal need and free their heart and soul
From the fear of death…... and they failed to understand the
meaning of the empty tomb.
(Decision Oct 2009 article Christ Our Coming King file Christ the King)
On this Christ the King Sunday we remember the words of the Angel to Mary and Joseph: “you shall name your child Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Soon we will hear the wonderful promise again.
Through out the Sunday’s of this past year we traveled to Bethlehem with the Wise men; walked with Jesus into the villages of Galilee. We saw Jesus demonstrate his authority over the devil, illness and death. We listened to his teachings with the multitudes and disciples, along the shores of Galilee.
Our feet followed Jesus and his disciples from the Upper room to the Garden of Gethsemane. We remember Jesus carrying the cross through the streets of Jerusalem. On the Hill of Calvary the words we heard John the Baptist speak at the Jordan River find fulfillment. “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” We remember the women who went to the tomb of Jesus….only to find the stone rolled away. The tomb empty. The linen shroud remaining like a sheet undisturbed. The Angel said… “He is not here He has risen from the dead.”
Through out the Old Testament God had promised to send a deliverer. If you were Jewish in the 1st century you looked forward to the coming of the Messiah. After Jesus fed the 5000 by the Sea of Galilee, the people realized that Jesus must be the promised king. (John 6)
This promise is why the wise men inquired as to the location of the birth of the King of the Jews. It is why King Herod in a jealous rage slaughtered the innocents to wipe out any potential threat to his throne. The kingship of Jesus is why Matthew begins his Gospel with a genealogy proving that Jesus was born as a descendant of King David. His claim of Kingship is why Rome taunted Him at the cross with a sign nailed about His Head, “King of the Jews.”
No wonder Pilate asked Jesus: “Are you a king?” Jesus answered: “I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” It is a cryptic phrase. There was no way Jesus could explain to Pilate the nature of His kingdom. How do you explain to a person who is totally immersed in a political world, ruled by “law”, what a spiritual kingdom is?
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 Herod and 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.”
Jesus said: “my kingdom is not like the kingdoms in this world. The kingdom of this world, the kingdom Pilate represented requires military power. It is a kingdom where celebrities are worshiped. It is a kingdom where “self” comes first. It is a kingdom where people vie for attention. Jesus calls those who live under his rule to servants.