Christ the King Sunday is intended to help us see the cosmic reality that Jesus reigns over all creation. It is an intentional proclamation that every creature on earth must submit to Jesus as the only rightful Sovereign of the universe. This Sunday always comes just before Advent so that we remember we do not only anticipate a baby in a manger, but a great king.
The fact that Jesus is Lord of all exposes three problems that we might face. First, because we live in a fallen world and we are all profoundly touched by sin, in our depravity we have this nasty tendency to build our own petty kingdoms and set ourselves up as masters over our own small worlds. People who have been hurt (which is really all of us) often attempt to seize power for themselves in order to avoid ever being hurt again, or in the belief that if we had power we could stop others from being hurt. The classic villains of movies, literature, and even gaming are the ones who seek to destroy the earth so that they rebuild it in their own idea of how the world should operate. Instead of submitting to Christ’s rule, which we may feel insecure about, we will control our little ends of the world to protect ourselves from pain.
A second problem which Christ as King exposes in us is a rush to bow to other kings besides King Jesus. When we become stressed and under pressure from life’s difficulties, we might not run to Jesus but instead rely on another ruler to alleviate the situation. Addictions are common ways of dealing with stressful circumstances. But we also might expect other people like fellow church members, pastors, even politicians or others leaders to give us only what Jesus can. No matter what or who it is, we might willingly submit to them as our king because they provide a temporary way out of our problems. Instead of taking the gospel road of confession and repentance through Jesus Christ and doing things God’s way, we instead run to the kings we have set up in his place to cope with whatever is going on in our lives.
A third problem is that we might not realize the power we actually possess as being subjects of King Jesus. Maybe no one has ever told you that as a believer in Jesus you have authority in Christ. Perhaps nobody has ever communicated to you how to use the power that has been given to you in Christ. As Christians we reign with Jesus and can exercise authority over every dominion that exists, especially the dominion of darkness (Ephesians 1:15-23).
In the name and through the blood of Jesus we have authority to use our God-given power to confront every enemy of our souls and resist all the machinations of the devil in our lives and our churches. This is a day to take our place with Jesus as the Body of Christ and confront the dark forces seeking to destroy us. Let us live into the position we possess with the incomparable great power for us who believe.