What King Is This?
Sunday, December 24 2017
Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the living God.
First, He was a “babe”: a babe who was foretold by prophets – born of the Holy Spirit and a humble virgin – announced and heralded by angels – glorified by shepherds – worshiped by magi kings. A babe who brought good news of great joy and peace among men. A babe who brought God amongst us – who brought salvation from sin – who brought eternity down from heaven to earth.
Then, this babe became a “child”: a child who understood what it meant to flee from jealous and violent kings – who understood what it meant to be a stranger in a strange land – who understood what it meant to be uprooted time and time again. A child who, like every child, grew and became strong – but who, unlike most children, was also filled with wisdom from above, and on whom the grace of God rested in a special way. A child who, at 12 years of age, while most other children are playing on the streets, knew without a doubt that he had to be in his heavenly Father’s house going about his heavenly Father’s business.
Then, this child became a “man”: a man who preached and taught throughout all Galilee, who answered questions and who refuted challenges with wisdom and authority. A man who healed the sick, who rebuked unclean spirits, and who cast out demons with power and might. Even the natural world obeyed the rebukes of this man to be still. This man was filled with compassion for the lost, the sick, the oppressed, the harrassed and the helpless sheep all around Him. This man was Emmanuel, “God with us” – who came to serve, and to be the Saviour of the world.
And now, this babe become child become man, is King. As the Christmas carol goes:
“This, this is Christ the King…”
But not just any king.
This Jesus, this Christ, this Son of the living God is the King of all kings and the Lord of all Lords.
He was declared king even before His birth on earth – because He was to descend from the royal line of David and was to be born in the city of David, in Bethlehem.
At His birth, He was declared king by the angel Gabriel: “… the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And he was declared king by the magi from the orient: “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem… behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
During His three years of ministry on earth, He declared Himself to be a spiritual king whose kingdom and whose subjects are not of this world.
Near the end of His earthly life, and just days before He would be crucified, He entered Jerusalem as a triumphant king, fulfilling Zacharias’ prophecy that said: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey…”
Jesus Christ’s kingship was an issue at his trial – and He was declared king at His crucifixion: “Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.””
Now, crucified and resurrected and ascended on high:
“[Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God
and the exact imprint of his nature,
and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.
After making purification for sins,
he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
“Then I saw heaven opened,
and behold, a white horse!
The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True…
On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written,
King of kings and Lord of lords.”
Jesus Christ: babe, child, man – and now King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
“What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
Nails, spears shall pierce him through,
the cross he bore for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
the babe, the Son of Mary.
So bring him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come, peasant, king, to own him.
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone him.
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary.”
For a beautiful rendition of the Christmas carol What Child Is This?,
the song that inspired this Advent Reflections series -
click on the following link:
- Where Joy and Sorrow Meet
- A Sacred Refuge Is Your Name
- And His Name Shall Be Called...
- He Has Visited His People
- In The Fullness of Time
- What Man Is This?
- What Child Is This?
- What Babe Is This?
- 1 John 3:16
- The Bridges of Prague in the Czech Republic
- The Legacy of Wartburg Castle in Germany
- Martin Luther: Here He Stood (1483-1546)
- Katharina von Bora: The Runaway Nun (1499-1552)
- Johannes Bugenhagen: The Administrative Pastor (1485-1558)
- Zacharius Ursinus: The Happy Professor (1534-1583)
- Theodore Beza: The First Calvinist (1519-1605)
- Lady Jane Grey: The Teenage Martyr (c.1537-1554)
- Pierre Viret: The Smile of the Reformation (1511-1571)
- Robert Estienne: The Ink (1503-1559)
- John Calvin: The Genius of Geneva (1509-1564)