Jesus the King
Palm Sunday 4th April 2004
did Jesus ride into Jerusalem on a donkey? Because King Solomon had done the same.
Why a donkey? Because Jesus the King was coming in peace. What did the people
shout? Hosanna to the Son of David. What did this mean? They recognised Jesus
as their king. What did the people do? What else did they do? Why? Because laying
their clothes before Jesus was a sign that they were laying down their lives to
serve him and follow him. Today we celebrate Jesus is the King.
When Jesus was interrogated by Pilate at his trial this is what Jesus said, "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.” (John 18:33)
Jesus is our King. But is Jesus your King? Lets find out.
What is the difference between a King and a Prime Minister or a President? A King is a King because his father was a King. He becomes a King because it is in his blood. A King or Queen serves for life. A Prime Minister or President however serves for just four years and they are elected. If they are really good they might get elected a second time for another four years but very rarely a third time. Some people treat Jesus more like a President or a Prime Minister than a King. They choose him and expect him to make them feel happy. But when he makes demands of them, they look for someone else to make them feel happy.
How do you become a citizen of a country? Normally you have to be born in the country to be a citizen. It’s the same with the Kingdom of Heaven. We have to be born again. In the United Kingdom we also welcome people born elsewhere in the world who wish to become citizens here. We ask them to learn the language and find out about our history, our culture and values.
In the Beatitudes Jesus outlined the values of the Kingdom of God.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-10)
countries also require you to give up your old citizenship first if you want to
become a citizen of their country. It’s the same in the kingdom of heaven. We
have to give up our old citizenship. The Bible tells us this is why Jesus came
as King. He came to rescue us.
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13)
the United Kingdom we also now ask new citizens to take part in a public ceremony
and make a declaration to promise to abide by the laws of our country. The ceremony
we use to welcome people into the Kingdom of Heaven is the Baptism Service. In
it people are expected to repudiate their old citizenship to take on their new
citizenship. These are the questions people are asked and the answers they are
expected to give:
Do you reject the devil and all rebellion against God?
I reject them.
Do you renounce the deceit and corruption of evil?
I renounce them.
Do you repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbour?
I repent of them.
Do you turn to Christ as Saviour?
I turn to Christ.
Do you submit to Christ as Lord?
I submit to Christ.
Do you come to Christ, the way, the truth and the life?
I come to Christ.
also ask new citizens three questions to help them declare their commitment to
their new King in this way.
Do you believe and trust in God the Father?
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
countries have a special day in the year when they celebrate their citizenship.
In the United States it is the 4th July. Historically, Easter was the
special time of year when new members were welcomed into the Kingdom of G od.
As its Palm Sunday today and we are celebrating the fact that Jesus is our King,
I thought it would be good to invite you to reaffirm your citizenship of His kingdom.
And if you are not sure, to become a citizen of heaven today.
How do we prove our citizenship when we travel abroad? We have to take our passport. It’s a document provided by the government to prove our identity as its citizens. Do you have your passport with you? Then I’d like to provide you with one. Lets look at it together. I invite you to answer these questions and repudiate your membership of any other kingdom…..
Now lets declare our commitment to our King, the Lord Jesus Christ… Now I invite you to sign your passport and carry it where ever you go. Be ready to show it to anyone who asks you about your citizenship. Give your life in total surrender and loyal obedience to your King.
And remember the good news is that anyone can become a citizen of the kingdom of heaven if they too recognise the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, their Lord and King. Lets pray.