Feast of Christ the King: The Kingship of Christ

November 24, 2019

Jesus is King, not president, not prime minister. That means He's not voted in or out as democracy dictates. That means His term and reign are permanent. That means absolute allegiance and obedience are due to Him. That means if He is our King, He is the center of our lives.

 

Christians of the first century proclaimed that Jesus is Lord. This was clearly considered rebellion against the dominant empire ruling over almost one-fourth of the earth. The emperor was the acknowledged lord of this kingdom and of the individual lives of his subjects. To say there is another lord was a crime punishable by crucifixion. What the followers of Jesus were proclaiming was that He is the true Lord and King and they were ready to face the consequence of torture and death for what they believed.

 

Jesus' lordship is not just a nifty spiritual idea. When He said His Kingdom is not of this world, He didn't mean it is not concerned with earthly, human affairs, of justice and peace, of politics and business. It's not out of touch with the everyday reality of this world which we will one day vacate (nay, evacuate, as some wrongly believe) anyway. No. God so loved the world, that is, His creation, that He sent His Son into it to save it from the corrupt system that's destroying it. Caesar represents that system. Therefore, to say Jesus is Lord is to reject Caesar's manner of violence, intimidation and domination which protects the social, economic and political interests of a privileged few. If Christ's Kingdom were of this world, His servants would be fighting and employing the same violent and self-serving means of the kingdoms of this world. But as it is, His Kingdom is not of this realm. On the contrary, it confronts the principalities and powers and offers a new way of living in God's world as He originally intended before it was corrupted by sin and malice; where love of God first and foremost, and love of neighbor as for self is its expression.

 

That therefore translates into the issues of our day-to-day human existence as His subjects. Jesus is not just a deity honored in a religious ceremony once a week. His kingship means He has the final say in the ordering of our lives. His commands and teachings take first place in our hearts and His examples are our pattern for living, so that by the power of His Spirit we also preach the gospel to the poor, proclaim release to captives, give sight to the blind, free those who are oppressed, and so proclaim the favorable year of the Lord as His Kingdom's ambassadors participating in the work of restoration and reconciliation.

 

This is the good news; that a new King has come and has brought into our world true peace and abundant life and the way to its fullness. His kingdom is in our midst. We can live as if it isn't, by going against the grain of love which is its driving force, or go with its flow by acknowledging its true Sovereign. But we might as well submit to His rule because all roads lead to the eventual summing up of all things in Him. That's just the way it is in the kingdom of God.feast

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