FEAST OF CHRIST THE KING - "Purity of Dominion"
Today is the Feast of Christ the King. The kingship of Jesus Christ is not supposed to be just a spiritual concept. The reality is that it is the truth; it is real; it is right among us. Some Christians think that Jesus came to give advice or a suggestion as to how we should live out our lives, how we should pray, how to have a relationship with God, how to get to heaven or on how to start a new religion. There may be some truth to these things, but He came mainly to bring us good news.
What is news? News means something has happened or is happening, and as a result, everything will be affected and everything will be different. If a baby is born, the husband and wife adjust because some things will be affected. If a son graduates Summa Cum Laude, his future will change because it will project a promising future for him. If a doctor discovers a vaccine for an illness, it changes the world. It unveils a new future, but it also generates an intermediate time between the event and the future result. There is a time in the middle of the coming and the fulfillment of the news. Depending on how the baby is trained, a baby may grow to be a fine Christian gentleman. A son with a promising career can make a difference in his generation. If there is an event or news, the environment gets affected.
Some say that Jesus’ coming did not really affect the world. It did for it made the world new again. Some said that Jesus came and the only benefit from His coming was that if we die, our souls will go to heaven and that in the meantime, we are just passing through. But this is not true. Jesus came into the flesh. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting that I may not be delivered up to the Jews. But as it is, My kingdom is not of this world.” Pilate asked if He was a king, and Jesus said “I am a King for this I have been born and for this I am coming to the world to bear witness of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth is My witness.” Jesus’ coming to the world is real. His coming is in the flesh, not in the spirit. This means that He knows our concerns and struggles for the material world. The Psalms says that He accomplishes what concerns us today.
Christianity is not only a spiritual thing. We are Christians because Jesus is already ruling and reigning in our lives. The purpose is not just so that our spirits or souls will end up in heaven when we have faced our life here on earth. Here and now, we reign with Jesus to all eternity. In Psalm 2, God said, “I am installing My king upon Zion, My holy mountain.” Zion is His church; His kingdom. Jesus also said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” He has authority here and now. If our concern is just the afterlife, God’s concern is this life, which He Himself gave to us. Afterlife is just a continuation. One day, people will no longer die because death, the last enemy, will be forever conquered. As God has installed His Son as King upon Zion, He makes all the other kings of the earth bow down to Him so that ultimately, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God. I know that the kings will make their own way to bow to the ways of Jesus the King.
God is overthrowing the governments of the world. He is revolutionizing the way governments are run so that every knee will bow and every tongue confesses that He is the true and rightful Lord. He will overthrow them not by vindictive means, but He will slay the nations with the word of His power. I hope that you were slain by God through His Word, and killed you so that you died to your old self and rose again to new life. Now, you live to Him. His plan is for us to die to our old self in baptism so that we can rise up in newness of life. This is why Jesus became King of the nations.
The good news is that this is now taking place. He conquers, He subdues by His love, by His giving, by His serving, and by the humble giving of His life. The kingdom of God – its methods and its culture – are not of this world. We are peculiar, and this is the good news. Our lives should affect other people and situations. The result is that the world is being healed; the world is being restored. The blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, sickness flea at His voice, and the poor hear the good news. The good news is Jesus is King so rejoice! Jesus ate with the sinners because as King, He is proclaiming, “I am now reconciling you to God.” This is what His kingship is all about. Jesus is healing the sick because this is what His kingdom is all about. He is renewing things; He is conquering death and sickness. He is conquering sin; He is raising the dead. He confronted the social, the economic, the political and the religious order. He chose the twelve apostles signifying the new administration. It is a new world with Christ being the King of the nations.
In other words, Jesus is setting back the world in order. He is bringing to the world God’s justice, which simply means order. The system of the Lord was interrupted by sin, and sin entered into the world and death through it. These things were foreign to the good creation that God made before so God made a plan and He restored the order, and this is what He calls justice. God’s order or justice was accomplished when He eliminated sin and death. He forgives sin and this is justice. 1John 1:9 says, “He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all sin.” If sin and death is removed, we are restored to the right order which is having fellowship with God unhindered by sin, by sickness, and by death, and we live in eternal life in fellowship with Him.
In the parables, it shows that God is taking over, and His kingdom will permeate the whole world so that one day, the glory of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. We hasten the coming of the Kingdom. Jesus said that the Kingdom is among us. It is not that we are waiting for the Kingdom but God is waiting for us to enter into the Kingdom. We sometimes say, “Lord, be present among us.” God has always been here; it is a matter of us entering into His presence. In the first place, it is us coming to this place where He already is.
As an example, the Promised Land has always been there waiting for the Israelites to enter into it. They arrived at Kadesh Barnea with two weeks to go before they could enter Canaan. However, instead of going straight to their destination, they got distracted, and they went round and round. It took them forty years to cover a distance that could have taken them two weeks only. We need to walk upright, straight and in His ways, then, we will enter into His promise. God is waiting for us. It is a matter of us entering into His presence.
We say in the Lord’s Prays, “Thy kingdom come.” How does this happen? “Thy will be done.” God’s will is being done on earth as it is in heaven. We are on earth; the angels are in heaven, having fulfilled God’s will. We bring the fullness of God’s kingdom here on earth in our obedience to His will. The kingship of Jesus is very real. It should be very real to us. We should be conquering with Him as we face our problems, our situations, our challenges, our struggles, our conflicts in relationships and in the way we handle ourselves. We should be demonstrating the kingship of Jesus and His power.
To others who don’t know their King, the kingdom of God is as real as to how much we show them. To the extent we reveal the kingdom of God, the ways of Jesus to them, this is how real it is to them. They will only believe if they see it in our lives. Make the kingdom of God real to those who don’t know Him as King. It can’t be done through theology, but through our example. It is also wrong to think that we are just passing through earth. Jesus is King here. His throne is not just in heaven, but here on earth, too. God said, “I have installed My king upon Zion.” Zion is the Church. You and I are Zion. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to us, His representatives. For this, Jesus was born, but His kingdom is different and it is not from this world. It doesn’t have the same characteristics as the kingdoms of this world, but it is coming in its fullness to this world.
We pray, “Thy kingdom come,” because we want God’s kingdom to be real here on earth. Jesus’ kingdom is giving of Himself. We will reign with Him throughout eternity not by swords, tanks, and fighting. The inscription on the cross of Jesus says how we will reign with Him - “INRI”- which means, “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” Jesus reigns by the giving of His life, by the absorbing of the violence of men and forgiving them. When Jesus died on the cross, no one, not even His disciples were joyous over what had happened to Him because for them the Cross was a defeat. They thought that their Messiah who will deliver the Israelites was nailed to the cross, humiliated, and treated as a criminal. St. Paul said that on the cross, Jesus made a public display of the defeat of His enemies, but the people did not understand it. They saw the Cross as a defeat; but the Cross is victory, resurrection, and it is God’s glory. He who has eyes see the power, the glory, the goodness and the love of God. See how Jesus reigns through the cross.
Jesus said that if we want to follow Him and reign with Him, the King of the nations, take up our cross and follow Him. Carry our cross, giving up of ourselves to others is how we will reign with Him. When Jesus conquered death, through His own way, He launched a new world, a new creation, a New Jerusalem. The New Jerusalem is where the Lamb of God is being worshipped and honored. This means that Jesus rules and reigns through His humility, through His meekness, and through His giving of His life.
This is the good news and it should affect all of us and our everyday lives. To emphasize, news is something that happened and as a result, all around us is different. Awaiting us is a promise of a bright future. We should not just be spectators of this event, but active participants of the good news. We do it with good works. Jesus gave us the “Kingdom Manifesto” - the Sermon on the Mount – like offering our right cheek, not asking in return as we give, forgiving those who offend us and loving God with all our heart, soul and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves. This is how we make the Kingdom real in us, through us, and to the people around us. This is how we hasten the coming of God’s kingdom. This is how we fulfill our prayer of, “Thy kingdom come.” It is not virtual, spiritual, ethereal, or the by and by; but it is for here and now. Jesus should reign in our hearts and in our everyday lives if He is really our King.
I posted on Facebook this statement, “‘And I’ll reign with Him throughout eternity.’ So goes the last line of the song. How does Jesus reign as king? The inscription on the cross says how – ‘This is Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews’ - that is, the true and rightful King of all creation rules and reigns by giving His life for the life of others. This is the will of the Father, of Whom He is the exact representation. We shall reign with Him thus, and hasten the coming of God’s kingdom on earth as we fulfill His will in our churches, homes, communities, workplaces, classrooms and everywhere we go. Because where the doing of God's will is, there is His kingdom.” This is the way it is in the kingdom of our God.