Christ the King Sunday
Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Perhaps the news story that has dominated these past two weeks in America is the presidential election. And if you’re tired of hearing about the election, I’ll assure you that my connection is very short. In somewhat of a surprising turn of events Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton and was elected to be the next president of the United States. This made many people in our nation ecstatic and many people angry, some people were glad, some were sad. In fact you’ve probably heard about the many different protesters holding up signs, “Not my president.” What they are saying is that they don’t want him to be their president, they don’t want him as the leader of their country, they don’t want to follow the laws that he’s going to enact. And since America treasures free speech they can legally say that. But whether or not you’re pleased or displeased with our next president, there’s a king infinitely higher, infinitely more important, infinitely more powerful than the United States President. In fact, He is the supreme King. He is the supreme King of the world and He is the Supreme King of your life.
What we have here in our text this morning is just a roller coaster of jaw-dropping, mind-boggling, eye-opening, astonishing information. God is giving us a description of the power of the Son of God, Jesus. “He is the image of the invisible God.” Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples once asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” And Jesus responded, “Don’t you know me Philip even after I have been with you for such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). You see, our Triune God has revealed Himself most clearly, has given us an image of Himself in whom? In Jesus. When we look to Jesus we get to know what God is like.
We’re also told that Jesus is the “firstborn over all creation.” In other words, anything that has a beginning has a beginning in Him and so He has no beginning. To understand this “firstborn” concept we also need to understand the culture at Jesus’ time. There was something called the primogenitor law. In short, it meant that the firstborn son would inherit the Father’s estate. So, the firstborn son was considered really equal to the father. Jesus is equal to God the Father.
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” He made everything! There isn’t anything that Jesus didn’t first create. Any king, any president, any ruler, any official is put into their power and position by Jesus. They have to answer to Jesus and Jesus will use them to accomplish whatever he wants them to accomplish and when Jesus is finished with them he removes them from their position.
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” The only reason this world continues to exist is because Jesus causes it to exist, he holds everything together. “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” He is the ultimate: he has ultimate power, ultimate supremacy, ultimate rule over everything. Why? “God was pleased to have all the fullness dwell in him.” Jesus isn’t just part God and part human- Jesus is fully God and fully human in one. All the fullness of God dwells in Jesus. All the fullness of God dwells in the Father, all the fullness of God dwells in the Holy Spirit.
What’s the impact of all of this? If you get one thing from this roller coaster ride, you see how often it is repeated “all creation” “all things” “everything”- in other words, Jesus is supreme over all.
Why is there so much attention on the president of the United States? Because of the incredible power of that office. As the president he can enact laws, as the president he can appoint people, as the president he can direct our military, as the president he can do things that affect every citizen of our country. He’s powerful. But the president of the United States, in fact, any ruler on earth is less than a mere ant compared to Jesus.
But what do we often do? We worry about the future. We fill ourselves with fear when we see evil people advance their causes or epidemics and diseases. We put our hope and trust in human leaders and rulers to help us. But there is only one who is supreme, one who is Lord, one who has power over absolutely everything. How dare we trust in an earthly ruler, how dare we worry about the affairs of the world, how dare we fear the future. When we do those things, even though we might not intend it, we’re really acting like protesters saying “Jesus is not my king.” The King ought to use His power to squish us, destroy us, and cast us out of His kingdom forever.
But that’s not King Jesus. Not only is He the King with all might, power, and supremacy, but He’s the King like no other king. He came not to be served but to serve. He came not to be protected by an army or a secret service, but to give his life up as a ransom for many. He used His power not to enlarge an earthly kingdom, but to win an eternal kingdom for you and me. He used His supremacy not to live in a palace, a White house, or a castle, but to be born in a manger, nailed to a cross, sweat, blood, mocking’s, and death. For what purpose? To win you, to reconcile you, to redeem you, to save you. He made peace with you by shedding His blood on the cross for you. And He further used His supreme power in the waters of baptism or in His mighty Word to bring you out of the kingdom of darkness and unbelief into the kingdom of the light of faith. That’s your King. No ruler, not even Satan himself, can knock Jesus off His throne, Jesus’ term will never be finished, He will never concede an election, Jesus will never be wringing His hands wondering what He’s going to do next. He has all power, He is supreme, and He is the head of the body, the Church, of which you are a part. Your King who loves you more than you can ever know will use His mighty power to lead you and bring you finally to the eternal kingdom of heaven. Relax in the supremacy and salvation of Jesus, the Supreme King of the world.
Jesus is the King of the world, but is He the King of your life? Is He the King of your whole life? He is supreme in all things- that means He wants to be the supreme King of your life- not just a part of it, not just a segment of it, not just an app you’ve downloaded into your life, He’s not just a vitamin supplement to your life, He’s not a pill you take once a week on Sunday morning.
Jesus is the supreme King of your life. That means there are no non-negotiables with Jesus. There is no line drawn in the sand that says, “Jesus, you can be my King as long as you don’t cross this line.” “Jesus, you can be my king as long as you don’t take my spouse, as long as you don’t take my child, as long as you don’t mess with my investments or my bank account or my health. Don’t touch that.” If Jesus is your supreme King, there are no non-negotiables. And that goes for sin as well. “Jesus, you can be King of my life, just don’t ask me to give up my bad language, don’t ask me to give up my sex outside of marriage, don’t ask me to give up my gossiping about others, don’t ask me to give up my negative attitude and behaviors.”
Imagine having a friend who’s been diagnosed with a very serious, life-threatening disease and they are going to be dead in a week. You go with your friend to the doctor. The doctor does some tests and says, “I have great news, there’s a cure, there’s a medication you can take and you will live out all your normal days. You just can’t ever eat any more chocolate” You’re ecstatic, you’re jumping for joy for your friend. Then you look over at your friend and she says, “No chocolate? Nope. Can’t do that. Forget about it.” That’s crazy! But that’s our attitude if we’re not willing to get rid of any and all sin.
Jesus is your Supreme King that means you say to Jesus, “There’s nothing that your Word says, nothing that your will touches that I will say, “Lord, not that.” Relinquish your whole life and everything in it to Jesus the Supreme King.
Jesus is the Supreme King of the world – He has all power, might, authority, and rule. He is in complete charge over everything. Relax in that truth. And relinquish everything to Him. Why so? Because Jesus is the King who used His almighty power to go to a cross, die for you, and rise for you to win you for His eternal kingdom. He loves you that much. Live for Him. Amen.