and [the Father of Glory] put all things under [Jesus’] feet and gave Him headship over all the church.
Christ is King! Hallelujah! King of kings, Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). All authority on heaven and earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). So Jesus always has the final word and that wonderful word is, ‘peace’. For us who believe, baptised into His kingdom, who submit to His authority, this peace is rest, deep joy and fulfilment. For those who want the power for themselves, well, His peace is the end. Still Jesus is Lord. Forty days after His coronation with the crown of thorns He ascended to rule. Victorious over our enemies, sin, death and the devil; He stayed 40 more days teaching and preparing the Church for the sending out with power by the Holy Spirit. Then Jesus ascended to the highest position, above all things. Making all things new He is the head of all Creation. Christ is King! Hallelujah!
But what does that mean? Christ is King? He’s not a king like a king of England or whatever, otherwise He would’ve stayed to conquer this earth. Yet our enemies are not flesh and blood, but the spiritual powers; we say ‘sin, death and the devil’ and we know there is no nation that has defeated them. Something different is going on here. As Jesus said to Pilate 40 days ago, His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). I mean just look at His coronation, no red carpet and fancy jewels there; something different is going on. And His people, 2000yrs ago a group lead by fishermen, dispersed from Jerusalem by persecution, jail and death; then spread from Spain to India within a generation but with no worldly power and at the mercy of local rulers. Even at the height of Christendom’s worldly power, those who submitted to Christ’s authority still suffered under those who sought power for themselves. And so too today.
Jesus is not a worldly king nor is His kingdom of this world, rather He is more, higher. Jesus is not just a king over people, raising taxes and fighting against other kings; Jesus is Lord over all Creation, from the very beginning, through time, all to the end; Lord over all things from those subatomic particles, to worms, to humans, to galaxies, to angels, spiritual beings, all things. Jesus rules over all.
He rules over all, and we are with Him. Baptised into His body, the Church, we are not alone, and we are joined with Him in victory over sin, death and the devil. Jack today joins this congregation and all Christians, the whole of God’s family both here and those who’ve gone before; joins us with Christ submitting to His rule, His lead and His love. Jack, having received the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus, is now a willing part of God’s kingdom. When Jesus says that final Word, ‘peace’, Jack too will receive Christ’s full and eternal peace, joy and love in submission to the one who created him. And yet, I’m sure some of us have thought; ‘If Jesus is in charge of everything, why isn’t it different?’ ‘If I was boss, I’d make it so Jack never gets a cold, always has the best teachers, eats veges ‘cause I made them tasty now, and never suffers a broken heart.’ Why doesn’t Jesus keep us safe if we’re in His kingdom?
Well, one answer is, I don’t know, I can only know what Jesus has revealed, and that is that we are free from the powers of sin, death and the devil in Jesus, fully at the end and in part now. But another answer is this; Our King suffered torture, betrayal, and shame; He took on all your guilt, that’s what was on His mind on that cross; His body and spirit broken and this was at His coronation. If we are joined with His life, why should we expect any different. And yet, that was not the end. Just as there is an end to a cold, the working week, to pregnancy, there is an end to suffering; and what follows is the resurrection. From death to life, and not just this life again, but a life free from sin, death and the devil; that is the Life of Christ and this is promised to Jack and all who are baptised and trust The King.
And Jesus knew in this life we need help, this is why Jack is not just baptised into Jesus, into some ethereal body of Christ, but into this congregation. Why His parents and Godparents promised God and Jack to be with him and nurture him. That we like Paul might pray for Jack and each other, giving thanks for God’s wonderful gifts to them and thanks for God blessing us through their smiles and teaching us in their crying. Asking God the Father of the Glorious King Jesus Christ, to fill you with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation of His promises; that we all have our eyes opened to see God’s work in our lives and the world, to learn from the suffering and rejoice in the blessings, to see truth and know the hope we have been called to. God’s mighty power at work in us, healing us and defeating sin, death and the devil in our lives; making us whole, not broken and distracted like the rest of this world. Holding us together even as things fall apart as at the cross, the Holy Spirit with us through the valley of the shadow of death, as many things seek to distract us, to take us away from Christ’s side and to take power for ourselves. We need His help, the support of God’s angels, the encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ, prayer, and Christ with us. Here He is, were we are gathered in His name, the Holy Spirit at work in everyone of us, using God’s Word heard today, through the words of each other, even in the cries of children. And here He has promised to sustain you, not just by Word and prayer, yet also by His Body and Blood as He comes to us here and to His Church across the world, coming down from on high and present for us all together. Through the suffering, and the joys, Christ is King now and forever.
And so His peace which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, now and to life everlasting. Amen.
Pastor Joseph Graham.