The first question was “Are you The King of the Judeans?” A low level Roman political appointee stands face to face with CHRIST THE KING Who reigns now and eternally over the entire universe and asks “Are you The King of the Judeans?”
Jesus replied “My kingdom is not of this world.” Jesus was not saying He does not have authority over this world. He was saying that The Source of His Authority is not of this world and that CHRIST THE KING is The Ruler of the entire universe. “If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Judeans.” If Jesus had come seeking some temporal authority concerned only with the ever-changing things of this world, His conquest would have been far different – and, sadly, of little value to any of us. “But His Kingdom – eternally established and beyond conquest is not of this world – but over all worlds.”
We all know this King’s name is Jesus – the name given to Him by His heavenly Father, through the angel Gabriel who said to Mary, “You will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus” – Ìησους in Greek and Yeshua or Joshua in Hebrew, that name means “God saves” and, in those years when the names people gave their children said something about the hopes and dreams they had for their children, Joshua was a name men of faith often gave to their children Who they prayed would put their total faith and Trust in God Who saves.
We are all familiar with the man who replaced Moses as the leader of God’s people and whose father, Nun, named him Joshua. That Joshua knew how miraculously God saved His people from slavery in Egypt and as miraculously saved them from starvation and thirst wandering 40 years in the barren wilderness. Joshua led God’s people into the Promised Land confident that God would save them from the strong evil forces in their path. His name proclaimed his faith in God Who saves His people – freeing them from slavery and giving them a Promised Land. Confident in God Who saves, Old Testament Joshua followed wherever God lead him and God’s people. Joshua lived by the faith he had in God Who saves.
God named His Own Son Jesus – “God saves”. But with this Joshua-Jesus there was a difference. This Jesus is God Himself coming as a vulnerable flesh and blood Christ to be with us to save us – not from temporal slavery in Egypt, but from the slavery sin and death hold us captive to – and to lead us – not into a temporal Promised Land, but into the full Glory of CHRIST THE KING’s Eternal Kingdom.
CHRIST THE KING is The Christ. Ὺριστος in Greek and Messias in Hebrew means The Anointed One. In the Holy Land, kings and prophets were anointed. Called to service by God, they were anointed with oil, blessed, and empowered to serve.
CHRIST THE KING is THE ULTIMATE ANOINTED ONE Who has come to save us from sin, death, and the devil - anointed to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross - anointed to reconcile us with God –anointed to establish His Eternal Kingdom and to grant us citizenship in it.
When the true God was here as The vulnerable flesh and blood Christ, the world was ruled by Caesar with the iron hand of the legions of Rome. Jesus replied to Pilate, “My Kingship is not from the world.” The Source of Jesus’ Authority was and is divine and His Reign eternal.
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.”
Pilate’s response brings us to the second question we all must answer. “What is truth?”
Every year the publishers of The Oxford Dictionary select their word of the year – the year’s most powerful and descriptive new word. This year’s word serves as a powerful indictment of this age in which we are living. The word is “post-truth”. We are living in the “post-truth” age.
Twentieth Century heretics did not invent political correctness. They just gave it pseudo credibility. To Pilate, truth was what Rome and Pilate said it was and what they said it was was whatever was politically expedient. That is why Pontius Pilate could truthfully find Jesus innocent of all charges and still sentence Him to be crucified because that was the politically correct thing to do. The political climate trumped The Truth – and Pilate had Jesus crucified.
Today’s most dangerous enemy - with both temporal and eternal weapons - is the assault on Truth itself. Inside and outside of Christ’s Church, there is a frontal attack on the true Faith, Ethics and Morality of our Lord and Savior. It is in the devaluing of human life itself and in the destroying of the family God Himself created. The greatest threat in the world today is ideological. It is in our beliefs. It is in our God-given Faith – or lack of it- that individual and nations rise and fall.
There are always enemies of CHRIST THE KING’s reign ready to destroy Truth itself – as today they rise to launch the most pervasive attack on Christian beliefs and morals in the history of the world.
Those who promote old sins as new virtues and who belittle the Authority of God's Word like to accuse those who are faithful to THE WORD OF GOD of being judgmental and bigoted. Nothing could be farther from the Truth. Those who are faithful to THE WORD OF GOD are people who recognize we are all sinners who don't have all the answers. Those who are faithful to THE WORD OF GOD know that God does have all the answers and that, in Love and Grace, God is willing to share those answers with us and through us.
The Truth is that Jesus - God saves - is Emmanuel – God with us – God as The vulnerable flesh and blood Christ coming to save us from sin, death, and the devil. The Truth is Jesus - God saves - is The Divine Sovereign establishing His Eternal Kingdom for our eternal citizenship.
As God Himself said of CHRIST THE KING through St. Paul in The Epistle to the Philippians (2:6-8), “though Christ was in the form of God – truly is God – He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by being obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. That is CHRIST THE KING waging and winning His war – for now and Eternity – and that is The Truth.
“What is truth?” - The politically correct pronouncements of a ruler who can proclaim Jesus totally innocent and condemn Him to a horrible death anyway – some judges, politicians, preachers and bishops and others who make of truth whatever suits them and their desires in the moment – political forces, in the name of religion, murdering and raping to make their brand of truth the world’s truth. None of that is truth.
“What is Truth?” - Jesus says “I AM THE WAY (God’s Grace alone in Jesus Christ and our Salvation), I AM THE TRUTH (our God-given Faith in God and in God’s Word), I AM THE LIFE (The only real life is revealed and lived in The Word of God – all else is mere existence and a very temporal one.) That is The Truth.
Today – this final Sunday of the Church Year – we focus on CHRIST THE eternal KING of kings and Lord of lords and The Truth God brings incarnately in His vulnerable flesh and blood human life and inerrantly in His HOLY BIBLE. It’s The Truth from CHRIST THE KING.
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST THE KING AND HIS WORD NOW AND ETERNALLY. AMEN.
CHRIST THE KING – THE LAST SUNDAY OF THE CHURCH YEAR
November 20, 2016
Dr. Kurt Borows
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio