A Meditation for the Middle of Lent
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
“You are a king then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Gospel of John, Chapter 19: 36-37.
Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and put on trial before the Sanhedrin and Pilate where he was accused of claiming to be a king. He did claim to be a king but that his kingdom was not of this world. Jesus is a king unlike any worldly king.
So what can we say about Jesus Christ as King?
I remember sleeping out in the open in the African bush and waking up in the middle of the night staring up at the night sky. Wow! What a vast array of stars! I realised I was just a speck, upon a speck, upon a speck, ad almost infinitum, of a mind bogglingly vast universe.
I was reminded of Paul’s writing in Colossians 1: 16-17 “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 is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Jesus Christ is therefore first and foremost our creator King. We owe our very existence to him as creator and sustainer of the universe and our own humanity. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see (scientists are more and more making visible what was previously invisible but it would appear that a vast proportion of the universe exists that may always remain a mystery to us). He is ruler and creator of kings, kingdoms, rulers and authorities; everything has been created through him and will ultimately be for his glory.
It is little wonder then that Paul reminds us in Philippians. 2:9-11 quoting Isaiah. 52:13 “Therefore God exulted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above very name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Jesus Christ is also a Servant King. He made this statement about himself when he washed the disciples’ feet at the last supper before his crucifixion, John Chapter 13. We also read in Mark 10:44-45 that “The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He is a servant King whose mission while on earth was to repair a fallen world, to save and to reconcile man to God. It is a wonderful fact that when we accept Jesus Christ the King into our lives he takes all our unholiness on to himself and, because of the Cross and resurrection some 2000 years ago, is able to reconcile us with God his Father so that we are Holy in His sight and, awesomely, become his adopted sons. Jesus paid the price for our membership into his kingdom. If you haven’t already done so I plead with you to accept the membership he offers you at great cost to himself. Will you commit yourself to him and trust him in obedience to lead you for the rest of your life in whatever state that might be.
Jesus Christ has brought to us a heavenly kingdom. We who believe in Him can expect to be with him for eternity. As we sojourn through this life, with all its trials, hardships, joys and moments of sheer ecstasy, Jesus Christ our Lord & King is preparing us for our eternal home with him. Jesus said to Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world and that is just as well for we know that Empires, earthly kingdoms and dynasties led by sinful man only last for a while and then vanish. This is also what often happens to our own personal spheres of influence and wealth. In the kingdom of Jesus Christ, Jesus sits on an eternal throne, and he invites us to join him.
Jesus Christ will return as a glorious King. We read in Rev.15:4 “Who will not fear you O, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
He will one day return bodily, reveal himself to the nations, and reign in all his glory.
Jesus wants to be your, and my, God and king. As we read in Acts 14:22 “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God – but we await his return as high king of heaven in all his glory”.
We have to ask ourselves are we ready for our master Lord and saviour who is the coming King? I hope so. If you haven’t yet really, really given your life over to Jesus Christ the King. Then I suggest you do so now before it is too late – just say a simple prayer that you are sorry for your sinful nature, ask for forgiveness and accept Jesus’s gift of absolute and unconditional love; a love greater than the world can ever give —and then visit a church and tell the leader about it, so that he and his congregation can support you.