In December last year, we began the calendar year looking forward to the advent of Jesus the Christ, the King. We celebrated His birth at Christmas: The Word, which was God, became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father. So God became incarnate, taking on humanity in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.
Since then, that is, since Christmas, we have focused on the life
of Jesus, of God incarnate. Our Gospel readings have highlighted the
significant points of His life: His presentation in the temple, His
circumcision, His epiphany (revelation) to the Gentiles, His baptism,
His fasting and temptation. On Palm Sunday, we saw King Jesus entering
the royal city of Jerusalem to shouts of praise. But by the end of the
week, we found His own subjects rejecting His kingship and declaring
allegiance to Caesar, instead. Ironically, those who were not His own
crowned him King . . . with a diadem of thorns. In an unlikely and
scornful Good Friday coronation, Jesus accepted upon His brow the very
symbol of Adam’s curse, and, thus, we observed how God was crowned King
upon a cross.
But this is precisely the purpose for which the King had come. The
Son of God gave up the splendor of heaven and glory with the Father, to
become the Son of Man, entering into the misery of earth, which stood
under the sentence of condemnation for sin. He came to reverse Adam’s
curse. By accepting the death of the cross, God incarnate received upon
Himself the judgment which condemned the world. He was crucified, died
and was buried. And on the third day He rose again from the dead, and He
ascended into heaven!
The Divine mission to redeem the world in love was successful!
Those who look now with humility and faith on King Jesus (both God and
Man) upon the cross are saved; they are released from the curse of death
and through His resurrection are granted life eternal at the Father’s
right hand, where Christ the King has been exalted to the highest place
by the Father, Himself.
Tomorrow (Ascension Day/Himmelfahrt), we celebrate this exaltation. We celebrate the ascension of King Jesus back into heaven, where He was received as the triumphant Ruler and Redeemer of heaven and earth. Our home group tomorrow will include the service of Evening Prayer, and we invite you to come and join us as we worship the triumphant and exalted King!