The World’s True King

The wedding of William and Kate has evoked worldwide interest and media coverage.  True, the event is historic.  And, true, it may be the only royal wedding some people ever see.  But the whole extravaganza, in a sense, is a massive letdown.

The streets were shiny, the church was prepped, the instruments were tuned, and the participants were appropriately attired.  But none of it will last, none of it bears the weight ascribed to it by fallen man.  The world watches royalty–fallen, temporary royalty at that–and is not rightly captivated by Jesus, the Messiah, the royal Son of David.

William is someone who will one day be king of England, but the Bible declares the One who is King of all the earth (Psalm 47:7).  When Israel wanted a king like the nations (1 Samuel 8:19-20), they discovered no earthly ruler could exercise permanent dominion or live in perfect righteousness.  Many of Israel’s kings were wicked, participating in idolatry and leading the nation into egregious rebellion against Yahweh.  Even Israel’s good kings, the ones who walked in the ways of God, were sinners and eventually died.

But God promised to raise up a king whose rule would never end: “When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13).

Israel longed for this king, but no successive ruler fulfilled the royal expectations.  After Israel split into northern and southern kingdoms, they eventually fell to the conquests of the Assyrians and Babylonians.

Isaiah, though, extended hope of a Great Ruler: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Centuries later, an angel announced to a group of shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).  Jesus, the Royal Son of God, had come.

When Jesus neared the end of his earthly life, Pilate asked him, “So are you a king?” (John 18:37a).  Jesus told him, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36a).  Then the king of the world was crucified–and three days later he rose victoriously over sin and death, never to die again.

When Jesus returns, “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords” (Revelation 19:16).  Jesus is the world’s true King, the one who rules in righteousness.  His integrity cannot be matched, his faithfulness is incomparable, his justice is incorruptible, his worthiness exceeds our comprehension, and his reign will never end.  He is forever king.

So heed the warning of Psalm 2: “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled.  Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:10-12).

In other words, flee to Christ as the object of your affections and the refuge from righteous judgment.  Only in Christ is salvation, and apart from him condemnation.  Every king, every prince, every duke, every citizen of Britain, every American, and every human on the earth–know that Christ alone is the rightful Ruler of the world, and all should bow their hearts in glad adoration.

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