Today is the final Sunday of the Christian Church year, sometimes called Christ the King Sunday. We find ourselves fittingly aware of the last days. We know the King is coming soon, but we are not given to forecast the day or the hour.
For most of us – especially for us Americans – maybe it’s a challenge to identify with Jesus as our King. After all, we don’t have kings. We live in a republic, a representative sort of democracy with an uneasy balance of power – judicial, legislative and executive. We declared our independence from kings long ago and our constitution guards against any one man having absolute power – the very thing a king has in a genuine monarchy.
We Americans – and many others now throughout the world – are a pretty independent bunch. We have been raised with the right not only to disagree publicly with the powers that be, but to poke fun at them on late-night TV without fear of reprisal. For Christians, of course, this does not do away with our God-given obligation to honor and submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13).
So why would believers today find comfort in having Jesus as their King?
Maybe it’s because we all long for the kind of king this world has never had.
King David was a man after God’s own heart – but he was still a disappointment to himself and his people in his darker hours. King Arthur with his Camelot remains only a myth.
But what if there were a king – a man with absolute power – who was not corrupted by that power? What if there were a king who used his power not for himself but for the good of his people? What if there were a king who would ultimately triumph over all that is dark and evil and set things right? What if there were a king whose promises were not political propaganda but were unfailingly fulfilled?
There is such a King – the KING OF KINGS. This King – Jesus – our King – rules when a dying thief says, “Lord remember me,” when a soldier at the foot of the cross says, “Truly this was the Son of God,” when the suffering and depressed cast themselves into the hands of the Great Physician, when guilt-ridden hearts erase their yesterdays in the blood of His cross, when a child is received by water and the Word, when a Sunday School teacher touches the heart of a child with the good news of Jesus our Savior.
So it is that even before our King comes in glory, wherever Jesus rules in human hearts, then even in the saddest places and darkest corners on earth, the King still reigns, and “He shall reign forever and ever.”