God Is… King

This morning, we continue to commit to know God by diving into the depths of who He is.
Last week, we learned that God is the resurrection.  We learned of an event that we refer to as the rapture when Jesus calls those who believe in Him, first the dead, then those still alive, to be with Him together forever!  Although we mourn our loved ones who have passed away, our mourning is coupled with hope knowing that we’ll meet together once again if they had their faith in Jesus.
This morning, as indicated by the palm leaves we all have, we celebrate Palm Sunday.  Palm Sunday begins the reminder of the many significant events which occurred during the final week in the life of Jesus.  The gospel accounts record the event when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey colt signifying that He was the King of Peace as the people laid before Him Palm branches signifying His victory crying out, “Hosanna!”, which means “Save Us!”  This was an even which fulfilled the prophetic word found in:
Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
This morning, we are appropriately reminded that God is King!
In Matthew chapter 2, we find that from His very birth, Jesus was known as the king of the Jews.  This caused King Herod and all of Jerusalem to be troubled even at the birth of Jesus.  In fact, it troubled King Herod so much that he had all boys 2 years and under living in Bethlehem and its vicinity to be put to death.
Throughout the life of Jesus, He revealed much about His Kingdom through His teachings and more significantly, through his actions.  Jesus displayed the power and authority of His Kingdom in a practical way everywhere that He went.  His life was a living example of what the Kingdom of God looks like, how it acts, how it speaks, how it handles challenges, how it deals with  needs, how it exposes and forgives sin, how it responds to those against it, etc.  Not only was Jesus a representative of His Father and His Kingdom, Jesus was King of this Kingdom!  A powerful statement that Jesus made confirmed this truth.
Luke 17:20-21
20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Jesus was King at His birth, King throughout His life and then, at the time of His death, we find this account.
Matthew 27:11-37
11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.

19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

“Barabbas,” they answered.

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

At His birth, throughout His life, and even at His death, Jesus was confirmed as being King of the Jews.  The first time that Jesus came, He came as a king of peace who saved His people.  He came the first time, not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him (John 3:17).  Yes, He is King of the Jews, but simply so that God’s promises may be fulfilled so that salvation for all mankind may be made available through His chosen people.  Jesus now waits patiently for all people of every nation and tongue to repent and turn to Him to be saved.
We learned last week, that there is soon coming a time when King Jesus is going to call all of those who put their faith in Him home to be with Him together forever.  Then, Jesus will come a second time.  The first time, Jesus came to save the world.  The second time, Jesus comes to judge the world!
2 Peter 3:3-4;8-12
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

Yes, King Jesus is coming again!  He waits patiently, but there is coming a day when Jesus will once again step foot on the earth.  Many people have tried to place dates or times on this second coming, but we know that this simply cannot be done.  After all, what time zone would that be in?  🙂
Although we cannot know the precise moment when Jesus will return, He did give us signs to watch for so that we would know that the time is drawing near.  Whether His return is next week, next year, or next century, Jesus gave us this wisdom and direction regarding His return:
Matthew 24:42-44
42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
No, we won’t know when He returns.  However, when Jesus returns is not an issue that we need to concern ourselves with.  What we need to concern ourselves with and spend our resources on is always being ready for His return.  We ought to live holy and godly lives always prepared ourselves and always sharing the hope within us to others so that they may also be ready for His return!
The apostle John was given a sneak peak at the things that will come as recorded in the book of Revelation.  After the rapture, terrible and horrific days of tribulation will follow as three waves of judgment are poured out upon the people who refused to put their faith in Jesus and on the earth.  After those days, the second coming of Jesus occurs.
Revelation 19:11-21
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

Revelation 20:10-15
10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
This morning, our palm leaves remind us that Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.  If we have put our faith in Jesus, He is the coming king who saves us and who has prepared a glorious place for us in His Kingdom:
Revelation 21:1-7
21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Our palm leaves remind us that Jesus is our saving King.  They remind us that we ought to live our lives set apart for God and to embrace the person who God says that we are.  They remind us to live as royalty, princes and princesses of the King of kings and Lord of lords and not to settle for the sin that so easily ensnares us.
Our palm leaves also remind us that there are many around us lost and without hope.  There are those around us who will be left behind at the rapture and whose names are not currently written in the book of life.  At the day of judgment, they will experience the second death in the lake of fire where there is torment and weeping and gnashing of teeth in that place that Jesus called Hell.
Our palm leaves remind us that while those around us who are lost still draw another breath, that there is still hope for them. King Jesus waits patiently on His return so that they might be saved.  Our palm leaves remind us that King Jesus has delegated His authority to us, His physical body and presence here on the earth until He returns.  He has entrusted the good news of His salvation to us so that we may freely give to others what He has freely given to us.  He has given us His Holy Spirit that we might represent His Kingdom of power and love accurately to those around us.
This morning, and throughout the course of our lives, may we always remember that God is King!