Hi everyone. Rob here.
It is Passion week in the church calendar: the week that sees Jesus enter Jerusalem as king, be crucified as a criminal and rebel, then conquer death and win the victory for us all. Here’s the thing; the resurrection of Jesus is the vindication of his claims to be king. The fact that he is king is the place to start interpreting the Easter story. We see that:
Jesus the King is betrayed
Jesus the King is arrested and put on trial
Jesus the King is crucified
Jesus the King defeats the power of death and is resurrected
Jesus the King ascends to heaven and takes his place at the right hand of the Father
Jesus the King sends his Spirit so that we, who acknowledge his rule, may receive his life and share in his authority.
Yes, Jesus is also our friend, our brother, our rescuer and teacher, but he is never less than our King, our Lord, our Master and Messiah. Think of the very best kings that you have served under? Didn’t they make you feel that you were working with them and not just for them? Didn’t they make you feel that you were a vital part of the team or the family? Didn’t they operate out of a settled confidence in themselves and inspire the same confidence in you? This is how Jesus rules, except more so.
Jesus’ rule also comes with the most incredible humility.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for this is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:12-17)
Jesus shows his rule by serving us. He shows his rule by allowing himself to suffer and die so that our sin and selfishness and pain could be put to death. He shows his rule by weeping at the tomb of his friend, whom he was about to raise from the dead, because his friends were also weeping. Jesus the King is also the most beautiful person who ever lived. His heart radiated love and truth and grace all the time. He is a King that we can adore, and out of that adoration, serve with joy.
We live in an age of selfish and self-serving kings. There are exceptions but too many kings (I’m also including women rulers in this) get a little power or wealth and use it to benefit themselves and not others. There is only one King that we can trust with our hearts. His name is Jesus. He is beautiful and he is perfect. As you journey through Passion week may you bow the knee and surrender your hearts to the crucified and risen King who has set us free and given us life.
Grace and peace everyone.