Summary: Christ the King Sunday. The sermon completes the journey from the manger to the cross. The heart of Christianity points to the cross for forgiveness. A poem "They Missed Him" is included from Rev. Zengale's sermon. Theme: Compassion, Mediator & Redeemer
In Jesus Holy Name November 24, 2013
Text: Colossians 1:19, 20, 15 Christ the King Sunday Redeemer
“This Lamb of God – He Is the King of Kings?”
Throughout the year our Sunday Gospel lessons have invited us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus from Bethlehem, to the Jordan River to the Jerusalem the Cross and Empty Tomb. Jesus Christ is truly King of the Universe. This is a FACT, whether we recognize it or not. Whether 51% of the electorate would elect him as King of the Universe, it doesn't change the fact that he is. And certainly at the end of the time, when the Lord comes in all his glory to judge the living and the dead, that fact will be apparent to all. We celebrate this feast day with great joy.
We heard the message of the angel to Mary and Joseph who were told to name their child, “Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Soon, we will hear these wonderful words again.
During the past year we traveled to Bethlehem with the Wise men; walked with Jesus into the villages of Galilee. In the bible stories that were read we saw Jesus demonstrate his authority over the devil, illness and death. We listened with the multitudes and disciples, along the shores of Galilee. Our feet crossed the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane. We remember Jesus carrying the cross to Calvary, where the words of John the Baptist found fulfillment…”Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
That’s why we sang the hymn “Lamb of God”. And I hope the words “O Lamb of God, sweet Lamb of God I love the holy Lamb of God” are true for you. I know they are for me. But it is not what the people expected then nor now.
There is a poem I found that captures the mindset of a people who were looking for a 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 stake, …….and they missed Him.
They were looking for Him to fit into their mold,
He was the mold maker, ……..and they missed Him.
They were looking for their temporal needs to be met, (when he fed the 5000)
He came to meet their eternal need,……. and they missed Him.
Today if you do not know why Jesus came….
He came as a Lamb to be sacrificed for your sin.
Will you miss Him?
He came to make peace between God and humanity.
Will you miss Him?
He came to model servant hood for all mankind.
Will you miss Him?
He came that we might have true liberty.
Will you miss Him? (author unknown)
On this Christ the King Sunday it may seem out of place to read about the crucifixion of Jesus. It is not the kind of text one would expect today. But is it? Jesus came as a different kind of King. He was not the kind of King that most people in Israel were hoping for. He came to ransom people from the iron grip of the fear of death. His sacrificial death as the Holy Lamb of God is what “justifies”. His resurrection from death provides the only true spiritual peace when standing before a holy and righteous God.
John Stott in his book “The Cross of Christ” writes: “How could any sane person worship as a god, a dead man who had been justly condemned as a criminal and subjected to the most humiliating form of execution? This combination of death, crime and shame put him beyond the pale of respect, let alone worship.”
The fact, that the Cross, became the symbol of Christianity and that Christians stubbornly refused, in spite of the ridicule, and death, as in present day Syria, to discard it in favor of something less offensive… can have only one explanation. The cross was not his final destination…. There is more to the story.
The Apostle Paul wrote: “We preached Christ crucified a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles…but to those who are called… Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
In our Thursday morning Sr. Bible Study through the Book of Acts we found an interesting verse. (Acts 20:38) Paul is preparing for his trip to Jerusalem. He is saying “goodbye” to many of his friends and those who are pastoring the church in Ephesus. He writes: “Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with his own blood.”