Distinguished Above All
Although many great kings and leaders have lived on this earth, for the most part, their legacies and impact on us today are forgotten. The realities of mortality eventually caught up to all of them, and it is assumed by most people today that this is what happened to the one we call King, Jesus Christ.
Many believe that the final moments before Christ’s death on the cross were the last moments of a failed, would-be Messiah. A title of mockery was placed over his head that read, “This is the King of the Jews.” Yet, if His death had been the end, then Jesus would be no different than any other man who lived before Him. All kings of royal blood who have died still rest in a tomb, but let us remember that our King rose from the dead. He lives and He reigns.
Christ was not a weak man, conquered by those who desired His death. He “humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Phil 2:8). Hebrews tells us that He is crowned with glory and honor. Paul, writing about a future day, says that He is the “blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Who alone has immortality” (1Tim 6:15-16, ESV). Our king was not conquered by men or defeated by death. He willingly gave Himself to save us, and He lives today. As we further contemplate our model King, may we be challenged, not only in our worship, but also in our devotedness to our great and matchless King.
Deeper Than Earthly Bloodlines
Matthew establishes Christ’s kingship, beginning his gospel with the genealogy of “Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt 1:1). When we study the genealogy of a person, it allows us to piece together a part of the family history and trace the lineage. While Matthew’s words link Jesus to David’s earthly royal line, it is also important to recognize that Jesus Christ has much more than just a link to an ancient king. The compelling question which each must answer is, “Is Jesus the Christ and King or was He an imposter?”
Although He was rejected by the Jews during His life and in His death, there were those in New Testament times who understood that the One born in Bethlehem’s manger was, and is, the “King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God” (1Tim 1:17). May the importance of this Scripture sink into our minds and hearts, as we acknowledge again that Jesus Christ was not only linked to David’s throne, but that He comes with the authority of an eternal throne. The King eternal will one day reign on this earth, and, although that is still future, Christ has never relinquished His power, authority, or sovereignty as King eternal. His position as king should lead us to submit to His authority, power, and will.
Determined to Give
It was the words of an angel to a frightened teen that proclaimed the purpose of our model King. We read in Matthew 1:21 that His reason for coming to this earth was to “save His people from their sins.” He was called “the Savior, Christ the Lord” by angels who joyfully announced His birth to a group of shepherds, and when Simon held Him in his arms he proclaimed, “My eyes have seen Thy salvation.”
The wise men traveled to find the babe in the manger, and knew He was worthy of adoration, sent by God to fulfill a purpose on this earth. They came to offer gifts to Him, yet they likely would not have thought that this babe, years late, would declare that He “came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28, ESV). Generally, a king is one who receives, and not one who lives to serve, but with Christ, it was so different.
When we read about the long miles traveled, the weariness, the hunger, and the tears, it is not merely an aspect of Jesus Christ’s humanity we can appreciate; it goes far beyond all that. In the book of Psalms, we read of the “King of Glory” in all His majesty and power. This Psalm brings us to a future day, when Christ the King will reign, and we get a glimpse of the grandeur and greatness of the Lord, the King of glory. How amazing that this same King of glory in Psalm 24 came into this world and gave His own life on our behalf.
Deserving Of All We Can Offer
The final scene of the Lord Jesus Christ’s life was one of utter rejection. As Christ stood before Pontius Pilate, the accusations flew, and the religious rulers said, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2, ESV) Instead of giving Him the glory He deserved, they gave Him a crown of thorns. In place of praise, He was mocked, ridiculed, and reviled.
What is our reaction when we look at Jesus Christ, the model King? Do we give Him the glory and praise due to Him? Let us rejoice today in the knowledge that Christ lives and reigns, He was victorious over death, and His will and purpose for us and this world will be accomplished. It is easy to allow our lives to model what is popular or appealing for us today.
The challenge is this: Do I admire, love, and appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ enough that my life will model the One who sits on the throne? May our hearts and souls awake and sing of our matchless King Who died for us.