Christ the King Sunday
The Rev. Paul Fuener
This is Christ the King Sunday, and our readings are Jeremiah 23:1-6; Colossians 1:11-20; and Luke 23:35-43; and a broad theme they share is, “Who is Jesus?” Jeremiah gives a prophetic word about Jesus, the “Righteous Branch” God will raise up, who will reign as the wise king and “execute justice and righteousness in the land,” and who will save his people and will be called, “The Lord is our righteousness.” The Colossians passage is Paul’s most profound theological statement about Jesus – the image of the invisible God, through and for Whom all things were created, Who is before all things and in Whom all things hold together; preeminent in everything, in Whom dwells the fullness of God, and through Whose blood God reconciled all things to Himself. In contrast to these exalted and powerful images, we have Jesus on the cross – mocked, scorned, spit upon, beaten, crucified – and with nearly His last words before death promising salvation to a criminal crucified next to Him. So, who is Jesus? A great King, executing justice and righteousness, saving His people, our righteousness? The One in Whom the fullness of God dwells, the image of the Father, preeminent, by and for Whom all things were created and in Whom they have their existence? Or, an innocent man wrongly convicted of treason, weak, powerless, friendless, nailed to a cross to die in shame and derision? The answer, of course, is “yes” – He is all of these things – Christ the King, Who rose to His Throne as He was nailed to a cross; Who executed justice and righteousness as He hung there – justice for human sin by taking that justice on Himself; righteousness procured for sinful humanity by the shedding of His blood – and, perhaps most amazingly, there on the cross embodying the image of the invisible God. Ours is the Great Creator God who enters His creation and dies, sheds His blood, to deliver His creation from its rebellion against Him.
With much love and many prayers,