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His rule is eternal


Jesus is an unusual king! He fought for his citizens –every one of us. He fought for us “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) When the war was over, he announced it to the world with a decisive, “It is finished.” He bowed his head and died. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Our king is unusual because raised himself from the dead and lives and rules eternally. His rule is eternal because he lives eternally. It is the hope of life in his eternal kingdom that attracts sinners to his kingdom.



“Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”


Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

“Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”


Dear Friends,


At any given time about half of our nation seems to be unhappy with the leadership of our nation. It doesn’t matter who is sitting in the oval office, you can be sure that there will be critics of the work our leader is doing. It is always a great comfort for us to know that we have another leader – a spiritual one - under whom every citizen is completely content and happy. That leader, of course, is Christ and he rules a remarkable kingdom. Let’s learn more about our king and his kingdom today.


Jesus Is An Unusual King!

His work attracts citizens

His rule governs hearts

His truth dominates his kingdom


The kingdom of God is unlike any kingdom in the world. Most kingdoms have a leader who is little more than a figurehead. They surround themselves by intelligent advisors who really run the country. Caesar was that kind of king. Pilate was that kind of governor. Trump is that kind of president. But Jesus is different. Pilate didn’t know that. He asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”


There were a number of accusations brought to Pilate concerning Jesus. He was accused of subverting the Jewish nation, but that was of no concern to Pilate. If that accusation had been true, the religious leaders of the Jews would have supported Jesus because they hated Roman rule. Jesus was accused of opposing payment of taxes to Caesar. Everyone was opposed to paying taxes to Caesar so that allegation was of little concern to Pilate either. But Pilate needed to know if Jesus were a king and able to overthrow Roman influence in Israel. He would find out that Jesus is an unusual king, because he is a spiritual king over a spiritual kingdom. So he needed to ask Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?”


Jesus was always looking for opportunities to attract prospects for his kingdom. Did he see Pilate as a prospective citizen too? Pilate’s question was answered with a question. Jesus asked him, “Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about me?” This was Pilate’s opportunity to stand before our King and confess that he wanted to learn about Jesus. Jesus was offering Pilate citizenship in his kingdom. Jesus had done that many times before and many times since. To Martha Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live even though he dies and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” To his disciples Jesus asked, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” To that question Peter spoke up and said, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God. Pilate could have done the same. Instead he said, “Do you think I am a Jew? It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”


Pilate didn’t know what Jesus had done! Pilate didn’t know that Jesus had come into our world to establish his kingdom and to live under the law he had given to govern us. He didn’t know what Jesus had preached and taught concerning the kingdom of God. He didn’t know that Jesus’ miracles of healing the sick, controlling nature as its architect, and calling the dead to life, all testify to Jesus’ deity. Jesus is God. What have you done? Pilate, have you been living in a cave? How can you not know what Jesus has done!

It is Jesus’ work that attracts people to his kingdom. If you don’t know what Jesus has done, it is no wonder why you don’t want to be a citizen of his kingdom. Before we review what Jesus told Pilate about his kingdom, we would do well to pause and consider the accusation Pilate, this heathen governor, makes of us. He accused Jesus’ citizens of handing him over to be crucified. That is a chapter in our lives we would sooner forget. He accused us of handing our king over to his death. We sent Jesus to the cross because of our lawbreaking, our half-hearted loyalty to our king, our cowardice and our lack of patriotism to our King Jesus. Our actions haven’t attracted anyone to become citizens of God’s kingdom. But his work does! Jesus attracts people to his kingdom by himself!


Jesus is an unusual king! He fought for his citizens –every one of us. He fought for us “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) When the war was over, he announced it to the world with a decisive, “It is finished.” He bowed his head and died. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Our king is unusual because raised himself from the dead and lives and rules eternally. His rule is eternal because he lives eternally. It is the hope of life in his eternal kingdom that attracts sinners to his kingdom.


Not only is Jesus an unusual king because of the work he did. He is also an unusual king because he governs an invisible kingdom. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (vs. 36) There isn’t a nation like that in this world! When Jesus was arrested a few hours before he spoke these words, one of his disciples drew a sword and tried to fight for Jesus. Jesus quickly reprimanded him and warned him that every one who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. So none of his citizens dared prevent his arrest. What an unusual king!


Jesus says that his kingdom is from another place. What place? It comes from heaven – not from the earth. Jesus tells us in another place, “the kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus rules in your hearts through faith. That makes his kingdom invisible to the human eye. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit through his gospel message to convert sinners into citizens of his kingdom. Then the Holy Spirit takes up residency in the heart of every citizen. He lives in us like a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance in heaven. The faith that burns in the heart of every citizen of God’s kingdom guides our actions. So while the kingdom of God is invisible, it is still very active and powerful.


Therefore, Jesus rules! He is an unusual king with an unusual kingdom. He rules in your heart before he rules in your life. He can transform us from sluggish, unmotivated citizens into energetic ambassadors of his kingdom. St. Paul wrote, “We are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf. Be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:20)


We are all ambassadors for our king Jesus. We can join Pilate in saying to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” Jesus was born to rule. He was born to be our king. But what an unusual king! He came to “testify to the truth.”


His truth dominates his eternal kingdom. Our world searches for truth and finds it lacking far too often. We are citizens of a kingdom that is founded on truth. God’s Word is that truth. We listen to God’s Word. It is our constitution. It teaches us to know Jesus our King. In God’s Word, Jesus testifies to the truth. As we get to know our king better through his Word of truth, we feel more and more safe and secure in his kingdom. We have his peace, the forgiveness of sins. We have eternal life through faith in Christ the King.


Listen to your King. He said to you, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8:32) Every citizens wants freedom. God’s Word gives us freedom because God’s Word centers in Christ. He rules with the truth he has given us – his holy Word.


What an unusual king! But he is just the King you need! He has brought us into his kingdom and has made his home in our hearts guiding us with his word of truth! You are belong to the greatest kingdom ever because your king is Jesus.


Amen.


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