King Jesus – John 12:14-25 04/05/2020

King Jesus – John 12:14-25 04/05/2020

I am fascinated by how far mankind is willing to go in their campaign to remove God from our culture. This is particularly ironic when we consider that all good things come from His hand, and yet we try to deny that He even exists. Regardless of what we may think, not only is God alive and well, He remains King. King Jesus is His name. He was revealed as King over 2000 years ago: He was King, He is King, and He will be universally acknowledged as King.

But… there is a lot that leads up to our being able to know this is true. This Sunday is, of course, Palm Sunday. This is the Sunday prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Here, finally, Jesus was acknowledged for who He is. Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on the first day of the week set in motion all the events that would soon follow through Passion Week.[1] It was March 30 (Nisan 10), A.D. 33.[2] This is the day the paschal lamb was set apart, preserved until the fourteenth day of the same month, when it would be killed. From the time Jesus entered into Jerusalem, “Christ our Passover” was set apart to be “sacrificed for us.

What were the crowds expecting when they began to herald Jesus as King? The word “King” is (βασιλεύς) and refers to leader of the people, the prince, commander, lord of the land, king,[3] and denotes the lawful ruler in contrast to a “usurper.” [4] This person had absolute authority within their kingdom.[5] This individual was often seen as having supreme authority over the military, the final say in legal matters, and having supreme control over the lives of their subjects.[6]

Then the New Testament proclaims that Jesus is both God and King, the One who will bring and establish the Kingdom of God.[7] Through His victory over sin and death Jesus established His Kingdom, one that is supreme over the forces of evil.[8] As King, Jesus rules over a very specific realm which will ultimately become a universal realm. Currently our world is divided into two realms under two different rulers. The thing is, only one of those rulers is supreme (that’s Jesus). The Kingdom of God has come, and it spreads from the heart of one believer to the next as individuals place their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

So, if Jesus is King, and will ultimately win, how does He become our King and, in practical terms, what does that mean? He becomes King of our lives by faith. To enter into His Kingdom is to experience what’s described of as being “saved.” Salvation is a work of God in our lives. This is needed because our individual sin has violated the majesty, holiness, and sovereign rights of God.[9] To accomplish this salvation, moral satisfaction had to be met for the wrongdoing we committed.[10] That moral satisfaction was met when Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin… in our places.[11] Because of this, the debt of our sins is “atoned” for and God is able to declare us “not guilty,” that is, we are justified before God.[12] But what this results in is astounding, He not only treats us as if we were not guilty, He treats us as if we had never sinned at all.

This is all accomplished by God on our behalf, but the application of this reality is not automatic. God has created us as moral beings with free wills. I think this is a part of our being created in His image. Because of this, He invites us to respond to what He’s done, and I believe He grants us the ability to choose, or not to choose the offer of salvation. Not everyone will agree with me, and that’s OK. At the end of the day, what matters is this; we are saved by God because of His love and mercy when we respond in faith.

If we stopped with simply being forgiven, we’d be forgiven dead people. We would no longer be liable for punishment by a wrathful God, but we’d still be spiritually dead. That’s why God doesn’t stop with simply forgiving us; by faith we’re made spiritually alive, in fact joined with Christ in such a way that His divine and eternal life actually becomes our own. And so, He offers us the chance to be changed, to come out of ourselves and into Christ.[13] That sounds like we’re being asked to give away the farm, and it is admittedly scary. So we have to go back to what we know about God; can He be trusted? (yes) Is He good? (yes) If we know the answer to those two questions is “Yes!” then we know that to do what God asks is the absolute best thing we could possibly do.

The reality is we give away nothing, except that which makes us miserable. We were created to live in relationship with our God.[14] That’s the itch we can never quite reach, that is the one thing we need to be truly satisfied, and we fight it. The reason this surrender to God results in fulfillment is because we were created for that one thing. But it cannot be forced, because what we’re talking about is entering into a love-relationship with our God, and love cannot be forced.[15]

But wait, there’s more! A day is yet to come when this Kingdom, which cannot now be detected through our physical senses, will indeed be present as Jesus establishes His Kingdom. Jesus will come and BE King whether we choose to accept Him as such or not. There’s plenty of debate about how that’s going to play out, and frankly it is beyond the scope of our study today. However, there’s something that will happen that is undebatable. Jesus will return.

When all the details are done, when God’s purposes with this current creation have been completed, then God will rule supreme, and with His rule the end of suffering and death and loss, for those who have claimed Him as King, will be a reality. Our King is returning soon and we will be with Him! Make sure that, today, your life reflects the reality of what could happen tomorrow.

[1] Carl Henry, John, in The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book, Volume III, consulting ed., Carl Henry, (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1960), 177. [2] Robert B. Hughes and J. Carl Laney, Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary, The Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 477. [3] James Strong, Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (Woodside Bible Fellowship, 1995). [4] Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich, and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985), 97. [5] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 479. [6] The People’s Bible Encyclopedia: Biographical, Geographical, Historical, and Doctrinal, ed., Charles Barnes, (The People’s Publication Society, Chicago, IL.: 1924), 620. [7] G. Goldsworthy, Kingdom of God, in the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology: Exploring the Unity and Diversity of Scripture, eds., T. Desmond Alexander, Brian Rosner, D.A. Carson, and Graeme Goldsworthy, Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL.: 2000), 619. [8] J. Rodman Williams, Renewal Theology, Volume One: God, the World, and Redemption, in Renewal Theology: Systematic Theology from a Charismatic Perspective, Three volumes in One, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1996), 405. [9] Gilbert Bilezikian, Christianity 101: Your guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI.: 1993), 144. [10] Gilbert Bilezikian, Christianity 101: Your guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI.: 1993), 144. [11] Gilbert Bilezikian, Christianity 101: Your guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI.: 1993), 144-145. [12] Gilbert Bilezikian, Christianity 101: Your guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids MI.: 1993), 145. [13] C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, (Simon and Schuster, New York, NY.: 1996), 189. [14] W. Ian Thomas, The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in all of Me, Multnomah Books, Colorado Springs, CO.: 2006), 21. [15] W. Ian Thomas, The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in all of Me, Multnomah Books, Colorado Springs, CO.: 2006), 21.

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