Monday, 21 November 2016

Christ the King

Who do you look to for leadership, moral guidance, direction or inspiration. A political figure (less and less common), a celebrity (very common nowadays), some spiritual guru perhaps? It is a fact that most people are more likely to find inspiration in David Beckham than anyone else nowadays.

But for a Christian that question should be absolutely simple.
We look to our king, Jesus. Or if you are a republican, our president, though actually that doesn’t really work as a President is mainly symbolic, as actually is our own monarchy nowadays.
But in the time the Bible was written the kingship of Jesus is to be thought of more as an absolute ruler, though a supremely just and merciful and forgiving absolute ruler so  ”King” fits the Bill more than any other description. The kind of king that the Bible yearned for and often described was more like a shepherd who looked after his sheep.
Jeremiah rails against the imperfect shepherds that had beset Israel and looked forward to a future perfect king of Israel and his name will be “The Lord is our righteousness”.
The Christian church is the new Israel and Jesus is that perfect shepherd, our righteous king. Unlike the failed shepherds, Jesus is also divine and so is perfectly just, perfectly loving and also sees through all our pretence. He can’t be fooled and will also rebuke us when we go astray.
His power though at his crucifixion is mocked and misunderstood. In Luke he is tempted to misuse his power for his own ends, to save himself from the cross, but he refuses. He has bigger fish to fry. His mission is to serve and die for the whole world. He proves his steadfastness and trustworthiness in looking past his own needs and fulfilling God’s will. We have a sacrificial king, who was willing to die for us.
In a strange irony, the reason Jesus was killed was nailed to his cross and the charge against him read “The King of the Jews”. But the scope of Jesus’ kingdom had been misjudged. They thought his kingdom was a worldly one and his aim was to simply remove the Romans from power.
In fact his kingdom was universal and everlasting and the kingdoms he challenged were all the temporal powers of this world, past, present and future.  
And although it is only Christians in this world that recognise his divine rule, actually Christ is king over all creation. We are the lucky ones because we have seen and recognised his rule. One day everyone will have to bow the knee regardless. Paul says that one day, everything in all creation will be reconciled to this fact – so every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and King.
So we have privileged knowledge. We already have been transferred to the kingdom of God. We are already children of God because we are privy to the truth. We are presented holy and blameless and above reproach to the Father through Jesus.
We need a new boldness and a new confidence in this fact. We need to let that fact empower us.
Our kingdom is forever. Our king is forever.
We have God himself on our side so we have nothing to fear. In God’s grace we have the ultimate safety net. We have a freedom to be bold and try new things. Even is we fail we still have God’s blessing. If we sometimes trip and fall God will still pick us up again.
Our shepherd king will always hold us in his grasp and never let us go. He went so far as to die for us – why do we think he’d let us down now?
Christ is our leader, our moral guide, our inspiration, our servant, brother, shepherd and KING.


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