Jesus Is Our Righteous King
Open Your Bible
Acts 2:22-36, Colossians 1:9-23
“Is He coming? Where is He?”
My daughter craned her neck, trying to see from our spot in the very last row of the very old church we sat in on Good Friday.
“What?” I whispered.
“Jesus! Is He here? Is that the cross? Are those His bloody clothes?” she asked, pointing to the decorative cross draped in white cloth at the front of the sanctuary.
Music started, and she returned to doodling in the bulletin. Meanwhile, I was reeling. How do I answer that? In the particularly concrete mind of a four-year-old, of course it would make sense that Jesus would be present. We remind her over and over again that Jesus is real, and He is always with us.
The jump to faith, to believing in what we have not seen, is hard to explain to her, and harder still to model. But this is the tension we hold: we believe in something we cannot see, but it is something real and present and happening right now.
Christ is holding session as King over all creation. Right now. This very moment. He has since the day He ascended, and He will until the day He returns. Christ’s “session” began when He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
Theologian Karl Barth wrote, “The summit has been reached, the perfect tenses lie behind us and we enter the realm of the present… Whatever prosperity or defeat may occur in our space, whatever may become and pass away, there is one constant, one thing that remains and continues, this sitting of his at the right hand of God the Father.”
From the day Adam and Eve fell and were banished from Eden, people have been waiting for a king. David, with promised covenant kingship, knew that a greater King was coming. He wrote in Psalm 110, “The LORD declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool’” (v.1).
God called together a people, first through Abraham and his descendants, and later through the apostles whom Jesus commissioned to go to the nations and invite people into the kingdom. We are now God’s people: a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for His possession. (1 Peter 2:9–10) And we are a people with a King, living by faith in the already-but-not-yet kingdom of Christ, inaugurated when He ascended to take His spot on the throne, “exalted to the right hand of God” (Acts 2:33).
In Colossians, Paul wrote that in His rescue of us, Christ has “ transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13). We, the communion of saints through the ages, live presently in the kingdom ruled by Jesus the Son, who holds His continuous session at the right hand of God. Our King holds all things together.
When my daughter asks, “Where is He? Where is Jesus?” my answer isn’t as simple as pointing her to the front of the church. But it is an easy one: He is on His throne, seated at the right hand of God the Father, ruling His kingdom and loving His people. And our response to Him is honor, service, and faithfulness.
The sweet, sweet hymn “Fairest Lord Jesus” summarizes our posture so beautifully:
Fairest Lord Jesus, ruler of all nature,
O thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown.