Saturday, November 24, 2012

for Sunday (November 25): not of this world

Scripture: John 18:33-37
33 Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are  you the King of the Jews?" 34 Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"  35 Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?"  36 Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world."  37 Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."

Do you recognize that the Lord Jesus have been given all authority and power to reign over heaven and earth? Jesus was crucified for his claim to be the Messiah King who would rule not only over his people Israel but ultimately over all the nations as well. What is the significance or meaning of Jesus' kingship for us? Kingship today seems antiquated, especially in democratic societies where everyone is treated equal and free.

God at first did not want to give his people Israel a king. Why? Because God alone was their King and they needed no other. Nonetheless, God relented and promised his people that through David's line he would establish a kingship that would last for eternity (Psalm 89:29). The Jews understood that the Messiah would come as king to establish God's reign for them.

They wanted a king who would free them from tyranny and from foreign domination. Many had high hopes that Jesus would be the Messiah king. Little did they understand what kind of kingship Jesus claimed to have. Jesus came to conquer hearts and souls for an imperishable kingdom, rather than to conquer perishable lands and entitlements.
When Satan tempted Jesus during his forty day fast in the wilderness, he offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:8-9) Jesus knew that the world was in Satan's power. And this was precisely why Jesus came – to overthrow Satan's power and rulership over the earth.

Jesus knew that the way to victory was through submission to his Father's will and through the sacrificial offering of his life upon the cross for the sins of the world. As Jesus was dying on the cross, he was mocked for his claim to kingship. Nonetheless, he died not only as King of the Jews, but as King of the nations as well. His victory over the power of sin, Satan, and the world, was accomplished through his death on the cross and his resurrection.

Jesus exchanged a throne of glory for a cross of shame to restore us from slavery to sin to glory with God as his adopted sons and daughters. In the Book of Revelations Jesus is called King of kings and Lord and lords (Revelations 19:16).  Do you recognize Jesus Christ as your King and Lord?

The scriptures present us with the choice between two kingdoms – the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness.

The choice is ours to make voluntarily. Which kingdom do you serve - the world that passes away or God's kingdom which endures for all time?

God's kingdom remains forever because it is built on the foundation of God's eternal love and justice.

 To accept Jesus as Lord and King is to become a citizen of an everlasting kingdom which is governed by righteousness, peace, truth, and love.

Is your life submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?

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