Monday, November 26, 2012

Christ the KING

Pentecost +26b November 25, 2012
John 18:33-37 -- Christ the King

Over the last month and a half we have looked at the book of Hebrews.
      Hebrews calls us to live a life that is TESTIFIED : HOLY
      Hebrews reminds us we can daily have a SHARP : CONFIDENCE
      Hebrews reiterates our ability to have a GREATER : CONSCIENCE
      Hebrews confirms us our SACRIFICED : SALVATION
      Hebrews wants us to have an ENCOURAGED : FAITH

This morning - we're not in Hebrews.
This morning we're looking at John 18:33-37
Today is Christ the King Sunday.

Today is also the last Sunday of the Church calendar.
Next week starts Advent -- awaiting the dawn
      preparing for the coming of Christ.

Yet today, historically in the church we look at Christ the King.
Historically we pause and reflect upon what it means for Christ to be King

Next week we HOPE for the coming Messiah.
      But today we engage the King.

John 18:33-37 NLT
Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him.
Are you the king of the Jews? he asked him.
Jesus replied,  Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me? Am I a Jew? Pilate retorted. Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done? Jesus answered,  My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world. Pilate said, So you are a king? Jesus responded,  You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.

King of the Hill
When I was a child I played King of the Hill every year at summer camp

King of the Hill - we played on a large rock.
      big enough to stand on,
      we could have 6 kids standing still upon it.
      But the goal was to be the only kid standing upon it.

      One would rise to the top - declare themselves KING
      And the others would rush to push the king off his pedistal and claim the thrown.

      It was a game of pushing, climbing, taking shots.

Interesting thing about playing King of the Hill:
      Once on Top -- you don't want to fall down.
      Once on Top -- Its easy to stay on top...

It is hard to get to be on top and be King of the Hill
      But once there - It's easy to stay on top.

King of the Hill has many practical expressions.
      The "rat race"
      The "political race"

Everyone wants to be on Top - and those on Top will do anything to stay there.
      Those on Top will do anything - push, kick, plant their feet...

Political Statement
Pilate didn't care about Jesus religious claims.

The ruling authority didn't care whether Jesus was a good teacher.
The political power house was religiously tolerant
      - just as long as everyone claimed Caesar as LORD.
      - just as long as everyone fell within their political place.

I began to think of this idea of Jesus as King

A King will do anything to ensure he's secure.
A King will do anything to retain their thrown.
A Kingdom will do anything to maintain power.

So this very statement: Are you a King
      Is really said out of fear.

The last two Presidential campaigns highlighted a new artistic style:

I even saw some which seemed to have been done out of fear.

But I wonder, what thoughts or emotions does the same political statement raise within you?

Does Jesus as King sound weird?
Does Jesus as Lord?
How about Jesus as Chief?
Or Jesus as President?
What are your thoughts upon seeing this political image?

When I showed this picture to a few - they raised their eyebrow at "dictator"

Can Jesus really be a dictator?
      is there a definition of "dictator" which is in the positive?

What does it mean for Jesus to be KING?
Does it mean the same thing for him to be President?
Doest it mean the same thing to be LORD, Chief, Dictator?

Pilate didn't care about his "religious" aspirations.
The Roman Empire simply needed to squelch any political aspirations.

And they thought they were doing that.

Upside Down Kingdom
For years I've enjoyed this title: "UPSIDE DOWN KINGDOM"

Jesus' kingdom is so contrary to our system and beliefs it's upside down.
      It's backwards
      It doesn't make sense.

In all reality - the Kingdom of God isn't upside down!
      WE ARE!
We are upside down.
We are backwards.
Our world which we so violently cling to - is the confused, different, dangerous kingdom.

Our society with all of its different governments and kingdoms
      Does everything it can to maintain power.

But we know Christ the King.

Our King does not flaunt his wealth
Our king does not oppress the poor.
Our King is not arrogant, power hungry,

Our KING, Christ the King -- is the Humble King:
He is the God of the broken
The friend of the weak
He washes the feet of the weary
Embraces the ones in need
And I want to be like You Jesus
To have this heart in me
You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King

You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King

Who is this King?
Of the coming King Daniel has this to say (in chapter 7:13-14)
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Christ the King was given authority.
Christ was given glory
Christ was given sovereign power
Christ's dominion is everlasting
Christ's kingdom will not pass away
His kingdom will never be destroyed.

Who is this king?

The late S.M. Lockridge says it beautifully in "That's My King"
The Bible says my King is the King of the Jews.
Hes the King of Israel.
Hes the King of Righteousness.
Hes the King of the Ages.
Hes the King of Heaven.
Hes the King of Glory.
Hes the King of kings, and Hes the Lord of lords.
Thats my King.

I wonder, do you know Him?

My King is a sovereign King.
No means of measure can define His limitless love.
Hes enduringly strong.
Hes entirely sincere.
Hes eternally steadfast.
Hes immortally graceful.
Hes imperially powerful.
Hes impartially merciful.

Do you know Him?

Hes the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
Hes Gods Son.
Hes the sinners Saviour.
Hes the centerpiece of civilization.
Hes unparalleled.
Hes unprecedented.
He is the loftiest idea in literature.
Hes the highest personality in philosophy.
Hes the fundamental doctrine of true theology.
Hes the only one qualified to be an all sufficient Saviour.

I wonder if you know Him today?

He supplies strength for the weak.
Hes available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves.
He strengthens and sustains.
He guards and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleansed the lepers.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.
He delivers the captive.
He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young.
He serves the unfortunate.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent.
And He beautifies the meek.

I wonder if you know Him?

Hes the key to knowledge.
Hes the wellspring of wisdom.
Hes the doorway of deliverance.
Hes the pathway of peace.
Hes the roadway of righteousness.
Hes the highway of holiness.
Hes the gateway of glory.

Do you know Him? Well

His life is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.
His love never changes.
His Word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
And His yoke is easy.

And His burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him to you. Yes

Hes indescribable!
Hes incomprehensible.
Hes invincible.
Hes irresistible.
You cant get Him out of your mind.
You cant get Him off of your hand.
You cant outlive Him, and you cant live without Him.
Well, the Pharisees couldnt stand Him, but they found out they couldnt stop Him.
Pilate couldnt find any fault in Him.
Herod couldnt kill Him.
Death couldnt handle Him, and the grave couldnt hold Him.

Yeah! Thats my King, thats my King.


Is this your king?
Is Christ your KING?

This morning:
      Is Jesus your King?
      Is Jesus your Chief?
      Have you allowed Jesus to be your Lord?
      Is Jesus your President or your Dictator?
The questions is simply this:
      Have you given all authority over to HIM?

Christ wants to rule your life.
      not in some scary dictatorship
      But in a relationship where you can know true life.

The question this morning simply is:
Have you given him power and authority?
      Do you proclaim him as CHRIST THE KING?

This morning I invite you, as Colossians 2:6-7 says:
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6, 7 NLT)

This morning:
I invite you to accept Christ Jesus as your Lord.
Let your roots grow down into him.
Let your lives be built on him.
Allow him to rule over your life.
Permit the one - who's kingdom is not of this world
      to step into power - and transform everything!

As you go, receive this benediction:
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.  Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
As you go; be bold in your political associations - of Christ as King
Go and Love!