And God placed all things under [Christ’s] feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Ephesians 1:22-23 (TNIV)
This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday in the church calendar, a day to bring to a close the liturgical year and celebrate Christ as victorious king. Of course, we also remember that Jesus was crucified underneath an inscription which read, “This is the King of the Jews.” (Luke 23:38)
The bystanders, soldiers, and one of the thieves crucified with Jesus scoff at this title, daring Jesus to prove his kingship. “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself,” they say. The repentant thief pleads for a sovereign ruler’s kindness and remembrance, saying, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
That is the twist in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. A king who doesn’t look anything like a king is, in fact, sovereign over life and death. No wonder Paul asserts that the crucified Jesus is a “stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” (1 Corinthians 1:23)
In Old Testament times, the priest would offer sacrifice for his own sins before offering sacrifice for the sins of the people, actions that were repeated annually on the Day of Atonement because neither the priest nor the sacrifice was perfect. The language of Hebrews describes Jesus as both the perfect priest and the perfect sacrifice, a combination unique in all of history to Jesus, our eternal Savior and King. He is the Incomparable Christ.
In worship on Sunday, we will focus on the kingship of Jesus in a sermon entitled, “The Incomparable Christ.”
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