Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
you exalted Jesus Christ to rule over all things,
and have made us instruments of his kingdom:
and to minister to all in need,
then at the last bring us to your eternal realm
where we may be welcomed into your
everlasting joy through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity
- Jeremiah 23:1-6
- Song of Zechariah
- Colossians 1:11-20
- Luke 23:33-43
- Jeremiah 33:14-16
- Psalm 25:1-10
- Luke 21:25-38
Christ the King
The other criminal said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Throughout his Gospel, Luke has portrayed Jesus as the humble, obedient servant of God. In the resurrection, such humility and selflessness will be exalted by God. In Luke’s account, Jesus steadfastly refused any demonstration of power for himself but manifested the power of God only for the faith and healing of the poor, the troubled, the lost and the rejected. Even while hanging on the cross (an incident recorded only by Luke), Jesus only claims
Luke’s account of Jesus’ crucifixion is a pretty hopeless depiction: Jesus, the generous teacher and the loving healer, is hung on a tree like a common criminal; he is the object of scorn and derision by the very people he came to serve and save. But in one of his last breaths, Jesus offers peace and healing to a criminal hanging there with him. Such is the transforming and redemptive love of Christ. From the crosses and crucifixions of our world, the reign of God takes shape when we imitate the humble selflessness of Christ in bringing his spirit of hope and reconciliation into the lives of those around us.
In Luke’s account of the crucifixion, only the “good thief” recognizes the grave injustice that is taking place. In recognizing the innocence and goodness of Jesus, he is able to see and accept responsibility for his own sinfulness and need for forgiveness. With that realization comes hope – the thief understands what even Jesus’ closest disciples do not: that God will vindicate the injustices of this life in the fullness of the next.
On this last Sunday of the Church year, we honour Christ the King whose kingdom knows neither boundaries nor walls, neither castes nor classes; Christ the King whose rule is one of humble service; Christ the King whose crown is compassion, whose sceptre is humility; Christ the King whose court belongs to the poor, the forgotten, the lost, the despairing; Christ the King whose coin is forgiveness and reconciliation.
Our baptism into the life of Christ was and continues to be our proclamation to the world: that the Jesus of the Gospel is Lord of our lives, that we share his vision of the world and seek to fulfil the hope of his kingdom. To claim Christ as King means to make his vision of compassion and justice the measure of our integrity and the compass for our journey through this life to the life of the world to come.
To be a disciple of Christ demands a clear, conscious decision, not passive, rote compliance; to claim Christ as King means to make his vision of compassion and justice the measure of our integrity and the compass for our journey through this life to the life of the world to come.
You can download a copy of the Pew Sheet herePew-Sheet-Christ-the-King-C