Summary: Christ the King Sunday - focuses on Christ’s identity, which is why we worship him.
Colossians 1:13-20 WHY DO YOU WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST?
Many would say that you are an odd group of people that are here today. Here you are, on a day when you’re not working, and instead of using your time off to relax at home, you’re here. What an odd group of people you are, people would say. Some of you have inconvenienced yourself, driving all the way here from Michigan. We have gathered here to sing about and to talk about a man named Jesus - someone you’ve never met. And as you gather here, you pray and pray, even when many of your prayers aren’t answered the way that you’d like. What an odd group of people you are! Later in the service, a number of you are going to make sacrifices to God in the form of an offering. How strange – you could put that money aside for retirement. Or you could use that money to remodel your kitchen or bathroom. But instead, you put your money into an offering basket, and never see it again.
What are you doing here? You’re worshipping Jesus Christ. All the things we do here in our service are forms of worship. But why? Why do you worship him? Is Jesus Christ really worth worshiping? Today is the last Sunday of the Christian church year, Christ the King Sunday. On this day, we especially focus on who Jesus is, and why we go through all this trouble of worshiping him. He is worth it, and this morning, we will see why.
In our Gospel lesson for this morning, we catch a glimpse of Good Friday. No one there believed that Jesus was worth worshiping. They talked about him in a mocking way, about how he claimed to be the King of the Jews, how he should save himself if he really was the chosen one of God. They mocked him. We live in a culture that has similar views about Jesus Christ. When you go home, and you notice that your next door neighbor didn’t go to church this morning, and you know he didn’t go last night – that next door neighbor is basically saying to you, “Jesus Christ isn’t worth worshiping. You should stay home.” When some of the local sports teams set up their events so that you can’t attend church on a Sunday, they’re basically saying to you, “Jesus Christ isn’t worth worshiping – you should play sports instead.” When you go to the store after church, and you are surrounded by people who didn’t worship Christ this morning or last night, those people are basically saying to you, “Jesus Christ isn’t worth worshiping – you should go shopping instead.”
Are they right? Is Jesus Christ really not worth going through all the trouble of worshiping? Let’s look at how he is described in our second lesson for this morning, from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Colossians, chapter one. There the Apostle Paul tells us why we worship Jesus Christ.
We worship him, first of all, because he is our God, and he is our Maker. Vs. 15 talks about he is the image of the invisible God. All the fullness of God dwells in him, verse 19 says. Jesus isn’t just “like God” or teaches us “about God.” Jesus Christ is God. Everything you ever wanted to know about God - if you have any questions in your mind about what God is like, what kinds of things would he say and do – everything you want to know about God can be found in Jesus Christ. He is God, through and through. That’s why we worship him.
He’s also our Maker. Verse 16 tells us that by him, all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by him and for him. Have you ever pictured Jesus as the creator of everything you see? When you look at a beautiful sunset, do you say to yourself, “Jesus made that sunset”? When you’re looking out over the lake, do you take into account that Jesus made that beautiful lake? All things were created by him, and for him. The materials that make up your house, the food you eat, the medicine you take – all things were created by him and for him. Verse 17: “He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.” According to these words, Jesus holds together our world. Without him, everything would fall apart. That’s why we worship him.
Have you ever had your identity stolen? Someone claims to be you, takes your money? Jesus Christ has had his identity stolen. Here we learn that he is the reason our world exists. But someone has stolen his identity, and that someone is named “evolution.” Evolution says, “Jesus didn’t make the world. I did. God is a far-away mystery in the sky. As far as this world is concerned, everything has happened by chance. Gorillas have evolved into people. Yes, the earth is the exact distance it needs to be from the sun – but that’s all by accident. The world keeps going - that’s all by chance. I’m evolution. Believe me. Don’t believe Jesus. He’s not your Maker. He doesn’t hold the world together, and he’s not worth worshiping. Believe me, and then you can stay home on Sunday.”