The Faces of The King
In a year when we have thought much and celebrated, rightly so, the Platinum jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, I thought it fitting to invite you to think with me of another Sovereign. My English dictionary defines "sovereign" as "a person of supreme authority." We have all read of Kings and Queens in history who have ruled and reigned, some with iron-like authority, while others were benevolent and loved by their subjects. Another name sometimes used to describe them was 'Potentate'; some were even worshipped as Gods.
An accusation brought against some early Christians was that they were saying "there was another King, one Jesus." This, of course, was causing great alarm at a time when Caesar's authority was not to be questioned. You can read about it in the New Testament of the Bible; see Acts ch.17 v 7. So in a few short paragraphs, I want you to think with me about some of the outstanding features of King Jesus' reign, which we learn from the Bible.
The Creator King
In his first letter to Timothy referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, St. Paul says of Him, "who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Yes, Jesus was and is powerful. He said of Himself, "all power is given unto me in heaven and in the earth." It was by His almighty power that He created and now sustains all things, remaining ever in control. In the first chapter of his Gospel, in verse 3, St. John says, "all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made." All Creation, the starry sky, the beauty seen in nature, and the birds singing all teach us something about our Creator King.
How sad then that so much is spoiled; thorns, thistles, rot, rust, decay and death mar the beauty we can see. Those who know their Bible will know very well where all that sadness began. Man's sin brought this dreadful consequence. Unfortunately, that same rebellion continues today as mankind refuses to acknowledge the Creator, preferring to conjure up differing theories of evolution which can never answer the fundamental questions of men's hearts.
There is a hymn that Christians delight in singing "Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation, Oh! My soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation."- As you look at the beauty of nature, do you acknowledge and worship Him as Creator? Yes, King Jesus is not only Creator King but much more.
The Cradled King
This title speaks volumes! Would we had time to spend here but just a glimpse into what is called 'the incarnation'. King Jesus was born a human baby and was cradled in a manger. Those'wise men from the east came with the question, "where is he that is born King of the Jews?" If you know anything of what is called 'the Christmas Story, but which in reality is historical fact, then you will know that His mother's name was Mary and that she did indeed cradle Him in a manger. I do urge you to read for yourself St. Matthew ch2 and St. Luke ch2. Here is a mystery indeed, the Creator King now a cradled baby. Why, why indeed?
When His parents brought Him into the Temple, there a devout man named Simeon took the baby in his arms and said, "Mine eyes have seen thy Salvation." This devout man realised that the baby, the Cradled King, had come to bring salvation, and so it proved to be. Yes, Jesus became a real man to identify with us, sharing in all we know and feel yet living a sinless life. He was tempted in every way, as we are, yet lived a perfect life. So, He offered His perfect life the "just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." as St. Peter explained in his first letter ch3 and v 18. The Cradled King became the Saviour of all who believe and trust Him. Do you know the joy of being one of his subjects? Are you saved?
The Crucified King
The Creator and Cradled King, having lived 30 years through boyhood into manhood, then spent three years preaching publicly and explaining that His Kingdom was "not of this world". He chose, taught and trained certain men telling them to "go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." See St. Mark ch16 v 15. Their message rings through the whole Bible's repentance from sin and belief in Jesus Christ for salvation. These men would be aided by God's Spirit, who would "convict the world of sin of righteousness and judgement to come". Yet, for all His wonderful miracles and preaching, He was Crucified alongside two common criminals. The horror of it evokes a shudder.
Pilot the Roman governor, asked Jesus, "art thou a King then?" Jesus replied, "to this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world." Do read St. John ch.18. That quote is in verse 37. Pilot then asked the Jews, "shall I crucify your King?" The horrific response was, away with Him, crucify Him."
Think carefully here, is not that the reaction of many today? They may not be baying for crucifixion, but He is despised, ignored and rejected. His great name is regularly used in blasphemy. Reader, are you such a person? It need not be so. I urge you to join those who 'worship, honour and adore' the crucified King.
The Coming King
"This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven."
An angel spoke these words to His disciples as they watched in amazement as their Lord, their Saviour, their King, ascended into heaven. See Acts ch1 v 11. He had earlier told His disciples, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself." You find that in St. John's Gospel ch.14. Oh! Do take time to acquaint yourself with what the Bible says, yes on everything, especially so for Scripture is given us from God for our eternal well-being.
No, His Kingdom is not 'of this world, but it is an eternal/ everlasting Kingdom which He has prepared for those who are His subjects. The question is, 'are you one such'? Oh! You will know if you are, for you will be watching expectantly for His coming. Sadly, there are many who are not. All need to know that when King Jesus returns, it will be 'with power and great glory to put an end to all rebellion against His rule and reign. He comes to Judge and, as we have learned, take His subjects to the place He has prepared, while all who have rejected Him as King are assigned to another place. That other place has been 'prepared for the devil and his angels.' So the question is, "where will you spend eternity ?"
If you have read this far, you can never say that you were not told, indeed warned of the consequences of ignoring the Creator King, who became a Cradled King, was the Crucified King who died to 'save His people from their sin' and its consequences. My prayer is that when the King comes, you will be in that great number who will hear Him say, "enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." Join all those across the world who eagerly await His coming.