Text: Matthew 28:18, Ephesians 1:15-23, Philippians 2:5-11, Colossians 1:15-20, Revelation 19:11-16
Christ is our perfect King today. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, and He will never hand it over to another. His life, death, and resurrection demonstrated the authority He continues to exercise as the Son of God who rules at the right hand of the Father. The baby born in Bethlehem holds creation in His gracious grip, and He always will.
My son has a favorite Christmas carol.
When we get in the car at Christmastime, our family takes turns picking the first four songs we’ll listen to. Our daughter always asks for LeAnn Rimes’s “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” Ryan picks a different vintage song every time, and I make sure no one speaks while Amy Grant serenades us about a “Tender Tennessee Christmas.” (“The only sounds you can make are if you’re singing along,” I insist, before closing my eyes to belt out about “the only Christmas for meeee.”)
But Oliver always chooses “Joy to the World.” I love that about him. And, it gives me ample opportunity to let the non-hippopotamus-related lyrics stick with me. Perhaps one of my many favorite lines from the song comes from that very first verse:
“Let earth receive her King!”
I know it’s not Scripture, but Isaac Watts knew the Truth as he wrote these lyrics. He knew Christ was not only King over all mankind, but over the entire earth. He knew that the rocks, hills, and floods answer to the same judge you and I answer to—this King rules over all things, “far as the curse is found.” (And be assured, that doggone curse is everywhere.)
Christ is our King today. Not because we decide He is, but because God Himself gave Him this authority.
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
- Matthew 28:18
He is our King whether we bow to Him or not. He is the King of the leaders of the countries of the world, whether they believe it or not. He is the King of our children and our friends and enemies, whether they receive Him or not.
This is good news! Not only does our King rule over everyone and everything, He is also a righteous and merciful judge. And He comes to make His blessings flow. Yes, He is a good King.
In the Old Testament, God’s people relied on prophets to be the mouthpiece of God, priests to lead them to worship and make sacrifices for their sin, and kings to uphold the law and fight their battles. But no prophet, priest, or king, no matter how righteous, could fulfill their office to the extent of the people’s need.
The prophets could report God’s promises to the people, but Jesus was both the Promiser and the “yes” to every promise God had made (2 Corinthians 1:20).
The blood of bulls and goats would never be enough to atone for sins of a nation, but the blood of Christ—our great high Priest—is enough to atone for the sins of all nations (Hebrews 10:4).
The kings of Israel and Judah ruled the people, fought their battles, and protected them from oppressors, and they did none of it perfectly. But King Jesus is seated on the throne of heaven, always fighting for us in battles that are “not against flesh and blood’ (Ephesians 6:12), “judging the world righteously and the peoples fairly” (Psalm 98:9).
Christ is our King today. Whether we call Him our King or not, He is seated on the throne at the right hand of the Father as you read these words. He is King of heaven and nature, far as the curse is found. Will you bow to your King? Will you submit yourself to His laws? Find security in the borders He has drawn? Christ is your perfect King—the King of all kings. Will you receive Him to be your King today?
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders of his love,
And wonders, wonders, of his love.