The King Who Lays Down His Life

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Who is this King of Glory?

Psalm 24:7–10 NRSV
7 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah
Who is this King of glory, who pursued us to the point of death on a cross?
Today is Christ the King Sunday. It marks the end of the church year. It’s a good time to look back and give thanks to LORD for what he has done this past year. It is also a time to remember the coming Kingdom of God, as we work in his Kingdom here and now.
Jesus is a king like no other king. His kingdom is truly not of this world. In his trial before Pilate he tells him this, John 18:33-36
John 18:33–36 NRSV
33 Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?” 35 Pilate replied, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.”
Jesus kingdom is different. Today we remember the greatest act of Christ our King. Christ is a king who instead of issuing death penalties from a throne, pays them for you and for me. Christ is a King who lays down his life on behalf of his people, so that we like the thief on the cross may be with him in paradise.
In this time of giving thanks for the work of God in our lives, we raise the biggest Hallelujah in thanksgiving for Christ our King layed down his life on the cross for you and for me. As we remember the love of God poured out on the cross, may that love continue to shape us as we work in the kingdom that is here, and continue to pray your Kingdom come, your will be done, until Christ returns to establish his kingdom here on earth.

The King Who Lays Down His Life.

The most important event in human history is the birth of Christ. The word made flesh. Who was hailed a king from his birth. Days before his crucifixion he was welcomed into Jerusalem in what looked like a coronation for king. The birth of this king has impacted lives and has altered human history. Whether you believe in Jesus Christ as king and messiah or not this event has impacted your life. Without Christmas the scene of a King who lays down his life for you and me doesn’t exist. As we look towards our advent journey to manger in Bethlehem, lets remember what this journey means.
Wrestling with the text this week 2 things jumped out to me. One, we all know from his ministry that his kingdom is different than any other. His execution on the cross adds an exclamation point to just how different his kingdom is. Most kings issue death penalties, Christ the king lays down his life and pays our death penalty. For the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Two the prayer of the second thief on the cross. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
“King of the Jews”- What was meant to mock and dehumanize Jesus and dispel any kingly claims, actually spoke the truth. All three groups in their mocking call on Jesus to save.
The response of the religious elite and Roman Soldiers

Luke records the taunting of Jesus by three groups using three different verbs: the leaders “scoffed” (v. 35, ἐκμυκτηρίζω ekmyktērizō), the soldiers “mocked” (v. 35, ἐμπαίζω empaizō), and one of the criminals “derided” him (v. 39, βλασφημέω blasphēmeō).

The religious leaders


(14th century)

intransitive verb

: to show contempt by derisive acts or language

The Soldiers

1mock \ˈmäk, ˈmȯk\ verb

[Middle English, from Middle French mocquer]

(15th century)

transitive verb

1 : to treat with contempt or ridicule : DERIDE

2 : to disappoint the hopes of

The criminals response

de•ride \di-ˈrīd, dē-\ transitive verb

de•rid•ed; de•rid•ing

[Latin deridēre, from de- + ridēre to laugh]


1 : to laugh at contemptuously

2 : to subject to usually bitter or contemptuous ridicule

One thief ridicules Jesus from his cross as he shares the same penalty. The other defends Jesus, admits his sentence is just. From his cross he prays the first sinners prayer, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus with his last breaths assures him that today you will be with me in paradise. The word paradise is a kingly statement by Jesus. Paradise was known as a walled garden that belonged only to the king. By saying to the thief today you will be with me in paradise, Jesus isn’t just remembering him but giving him new life with Christ the King.

Jesus, remember me

Who among us is worthy of grace? We are more like the thieves who hung next to Jesus than we are like Jesus. We do not know what happened to the thief who hung on the other side of Jesus’ cross—the one who, rather than asking for mercy, spoke chiding words, challenging Jesus to show his might and power by saving himself and the criminals who surrounded him. Yet the grace of God as revealed in the incarnate Jesus is a word of forgiveness and deep, abiding love. It is hard for us to believe in the gracious God, in the forgiving God, in the God who would love us even when we disappoint and sin.

The simple prayer, of the thief on the cross was enough for the grace of God to grant him life in the kingdom. There is more than enough grace in calvary’s cross to change your life.
As we remember Christ the King who laid down his life for you and for me. May the grace of almighty God continue to shape us to look more like Christ. Let’s give thanks to God for he is good!
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