Jesus the King
Bible reading: Philippians 2: 1-11
Have you ever seen a sign in the back of a vehicle: “Princess on board”?
- Perhaps as a child, you pretended to be a princess or queen… to marry a handsome prince…
We have a fascination with royalty…
- Imagine waking up every morning as queen… no time off for good behaviour… cameras clicking hundreds of times every day … meeting heads of state, business leaders, exceptional people … always in the spotlight… having to measure every word carefully for fear of saying the wrong thing!
There are many interesting facts about the kings and queens of this country…
- The only time that England has been without a monarch since 802 (King Egbert) was from 1649-60 under Oliver Cromwell
- Elizabeth 1 was one of the most successful monarchs… the country prospered under her reign…
- After Mary, Queen of Scots was beheaded, they found her dog hiding under her skirts…
- After the death of her husband, Albert, from typhoid, in December 1861, Queen Victoria became a recluse… and the country began to rebel against the monarchy… She reappeared just in time!
Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 60 years and is now the 2nd longest serving monarch after Queen Victoria, who reigned for 63 years from 1837-1901
- The present Queen is 5 ft 4 inches tall
- She has nine royal thrones
- She has two birthdays… the real one is 21st April… then the formal one in June with Trooping of the Colours
- The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are both great great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria
The Queen has worked with twelve prime ministers…
Sir Anthony Eden
Sir Alec Douglas-Home
Harold Wilson (twice)
The Queen has also seen seven popes and twelve US Presidents!
THE OLD TESTAMENT HAS MANY KINGS AND QUEENS
- The first king was Saul
- The most famous king was David
- The wisest king was Solomon
There were evil kings and good kings… but also a number of queens… some good, some not so good!
- Queen of Sheba, who visited King Solomon
- Queen Vashti was deposed as the sitting queen when the king chose Esther to be his new bride… and saved the Jews from extinction
- Then there was the Queen of Heaven—the Babylonian idol, Ishtar—pronounced ‘easter’ that some Israelites worshipped
- Some Catholics call Mary, mother of Jesus, the ‘Queen of Heaven’
- Queen Jezebel, who killed the prophets of God and even terrified Elijah… but who met a grisly end (thrown from a tower and eaten by dogs)
- Then the unnamed queen, wife of Belshazzar, who brought Daniel to interpret the meaning of the handwriting on the wall… “You have been weighed in the scales and found wanting”
- And in the New Testament, the Queen of the South, who will rise at the judgment of the world
BUT EVEN THE BEST OF KINGS HAD FAILINGS…
- King Saul began well but ended badly
- King David was responsible for murder and adultery… one of his sons tried to kill him and take the throne
- King Solomon lost his nerve as he grew older and struggled to understand what life was all about
WHETHER YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY or AN ORDINARY CITIZEN, you have your ups and downs… your weaknesses… your off-days…
But when we look to Jesus, we find in Him the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords…
- His eye is not dimmed
- He never sleeps
- He doesn’t have a “bad hair day”…
- His human life has been open to the closest possible scrutiny… for he is unique… without sin… head and shoulders above any king or queen who has ever lived
In 1839, an attempt was made to kill Queen Victoria while she was driving in her carriage in London. Further assassination attempts took place in 1842 (twice), 1849, 1850, 1872 and 1882…
They tried to kill Jesus on numerous occasions… and failed…
- But when he eventually died, it wasn’t an assassin’s dagger or being stoned by an angry mob as He lay helpless
- Death on the Cross was His decision in obedience to God the Father
The enemies of Jesus thought they had won!
- “We will not have this man to rule over us!”
- They plaited a crown of thorns and rammed it down on His head… they mocked Him and pretended to worship Him… “Hail, king!”
- “He saved others but He can’t save himself!”
Pilate had a sign placed above Jesus’ head: “The king of the Jews”
- The religious leaders objected… “No! He just claimed to be king of the Jews…” but Pilate would have none of it
Pilate was right and wrong… King of the Jews, yes, but also King of whoever puts her or his trust in Him… He can be your king, my king
IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN INVITED TO MEET THE QUEEN, you must learn how to bow or curtsy… You must not physically touch her
- What about our response to King Jesus?
- The Apostle Paul tells us that one day every knee will bow to Him
- You and I can bow the knee now… or at the end of time
- We can do so willingly and gladly… or reluctantly and resentfully
- We can enter into His presence with thanksgiving in our hearts… or fearful of what the future holds
For Jesus came as Saviour before… but He will come as judge next time
- And how will you and I argue our case before God?
- Will we ‘cross our fingers’ and hope for the best?
A lot of people say that they don’t want to rely on ‘blind faith’… they deal in ‘realities’… But faith in Christ is not a step into the dark but rather a step from the dark into the light
Sixty-odd years ago, Queen Elizabeth II pledged, with God’s help, to serve the people … and to safeguard the Gospel…
- She has indeed fulfilled that promise to the best of her ability
Jesus is also a ‘servant king’… not only to a nation of Commonwealth but to the whole world, for whom He died
- But He not only serves…He also SAVES
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth has many attributes… but she cannot save people from sin
Only King Jesus can do that!