By Seline Augustine
A Christmas season not many years ago we were privileged to sing in church the J. W. Peterson cantata, Born a King.
On that Christmas long ago, Silver stars were all aglow, Angels came to earth below and sang Glory, glory to God in the highest. Born a king…
Did we get it right, or should it read, Born to be king? No, Jesus was born a king and in death too he remained a king. All new-born babies in royal households come into the world as princes and heirs apparent as a norm, and eventually ascend the throne. Not so, Jesus the King. That’s why prophets foretold his coming 600 years earlier, angels announced his advent and stars blazed the news of his birth across the sky.
Jesus had a three-fold office as the Priest, Prophet and King. To atone, to mediate (between God and men) and to rule.
From the Orient
A cold coming we had of it, so starts T. S. Eliot’s poem The Journey of the Magi. In the next 19 lines Eliot continues to detail the ordeal of the quest to highlight the significance of their pursuit. The three kings of Orient had, as the carol says, traversed afar, following yonder star. All for what? In search of the King of kings. Where is He that is born king of the Jews, they query. *1
From Roman authority
In the Old Testament the Psalmist urges even the gates to lift up their heads so that the King of glory may come in.*2. Who is this king of glory? He is the Lord strong and mighty. The two following concluding verses of the Psalm repeat the idea almost word for word, for emphasis, lest we miss the point. What is the inscription the Roman Governor Pontius Pilate pins to the cross of Jesus after the latter’s crucifixion? This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. Matthew 27:37. Thus both at birth and in death, we find non-Jews affirming the kingship of Jesus.
King of Kings
The opening chapter of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, makes it crystal clear: Jesus Christ…the ruler of the kings of the earth*3. In chapter 19 of the same book, he is described as King of kings and Lords of lords, thus denoting sovereignty over all kings and lords. In effect, there is no power, no king and no lord who can oppose him. When the sopranos hit the high register in Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus (from The Messiah) singing, “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” while the lower voices affirm with a “Forever and ever”, it’s like a whiff of heaven!
For all this, Jesus did not at any time hold the sceptre in his hand while on earth. He chose to reign over hearts instead. All authority in heaven and earth belong to Jesus and yet the great King chooses to stand knocking outside the door of our hearts when he can so easily force his way in anywhere anytime. An astounding greatness even to comprehend! The intro to the rousing song, One Solitary Life, captures the essence:
All the Kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life.*4
Is this King of kings, Jesus, the monarch of your heart this Christmas?
- Matthew 2:2 Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.
- Psalm 24:7-8 Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
- Revelation 1:5 …Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
- One Solitary Life by Dr James Allen
Seline Augustine is a content copy writer and editor with RZIM Life Focus Society