Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crown Him King (Palm Sunday)

KING OF KINGS

When I say "the King," who comes to mind? Elvis Presley? Elvis is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll." He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music. He was nominated for 14 Grammy awards. At age 36, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been inducted into four music halls of fame. To many, Elvis was "the King." But Jesus is "the King of kings."

"They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is the Lord of lords and the King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers" (Revelation 17:14).
  • He was born as a King. The wise men: “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” (Matthew 2:2). Gabriel to Mary: “The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:32-33).
  • He was celebrated as a King. The triumphal entry: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38).
  • He was accused as a King. Jesus’ enemies to Pilate: “[He] claims to Christ, a king” (Luke 23:2). Pilate to Jesus: “Are you the king of the Jews?” (John 18:33). Jesus to Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 19:36). Jesus to Pilate: “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born” (John 19:37).
  • He was mocked as a King. “[The Roman soldiers] stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’” (Matthew 27:28-29). ·
  • He was crucified as a King. “Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews” (Matthew 27:37).
  • He was raised as a King. “[The Father] raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 1:20).
  • He will return as a King.

Revelation 17:14 says that Jesus will return as the King of kings, but right now He wants to be the King of our lives.

KING OF OUR LIVES

Why is Jesus worthy to be the King of our lives? Revelation 17:14 gives us three reasons why Jesus Christ is worthy to be the King of our lives:
  1. Jesus is the courageous King. "They will make war against the Lamb." "They" are the "ten kings" of v. 12. Somehow Satan will move them to "make war" against "the Lamb." "Lamb" is the most common title for Jesus in Revelation (used 28 times). "Then one of the elders said to me, 'Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.' Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain" (Revelation 5:5-6). The Lion is a Lamb! A lion is an animal of strength ("king of the beasts"). A lamb is an animal of vulnerability. The Greek word for "Lamb" is arnion, which means "a little lamb." He is the lamb who was slain for our sin. The sacrificial lambs of the OT foreshadowed Christ. "He was led like a lamb to the slaughter" (Isaiah 53:7). "Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5:7; cf. Exodus 12).
  2. Jesus is the victorious King. "But the Lamb will overcome them because he is the Lord of lords and the King of kings." Many people believe that Elvis is still alive. Imagine what that comeback concert would be like! Jesus is alive (risen from the dead), and He’s coming back! He is the Lord who will judge sin. John the Baptist, concerning Jesus: "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29; cf. v. 36). "Takes away" could be interpreted two ways: (1) to bear sin or (2) to abolish sin. King Nebuchadnezzar to Daniel: "Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings" (Daniel 2:47). Presently, Christ is allowing the "kings" of the earth to exercise authority, but one day He will take back that authority. And He will "overcome" all those who oppose Him.
  3. Jesus is the generous King. "And with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers." Christ has promised to reward those who are "faithful" to Him. Jesus to the church in Smyrna: "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). Mary’s little lamb went wherever Mary went. We who are the Lamb’s followers will follow Him when He returns to earth. He will allow us to share in His victory. He is the leader who will reward His followers. The King of kings demands much. But He rewards richly.

YOUR KING?

Elvis left the building a long time ago, but the real King is alive and well. He’s coming back as the King of kings. But He also wants to be your King. Why should Christ occupy the throne of your life? (1) He is the courageous King who died for you. (2) He is the victorious King who will overcome evil. (3) He is the generous King who will reward you. Christ is worthy to be the King of your life? Is He the King of your life today?
  • Christ desires an initial commitment to Him.
  • Christ expects a daily commitment to Him.

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