Printable PDF: 11-22-2020 Christ the King Sermon
David R. Clark ~ Matthew 27:27-31 ~ November 22, 2020 ~ Christ the King
WE NEED A KING…
27Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Dear fellow subjects of our heavenly King,
People went to the polls earlier this month to decide a very important question: What kind of a president do you want? I think it is fair to say that people had some different answers to that question.
People feel that same way when they talk about Jesus. A large group of people near the Sea of Galilee wanted Jesus to be a Bread King. Others, including some of his disciples, wanted him to be a political/military King who would restore the glory of David and Solomon to Israel. Herod wanted him to be an entertainer. He would have given anything to see a miracle.
It’s no different today. Some people want Jesus to be the permissive king, who tells you what you are doing is fine, no matter what it is. Others want him to be someone who will give them health, wealth, or that certain someone, as if he is a Santa Claus King. There are also those today who want him to be the king that will fix everything they think is wrong with this country. That’s the political/military king again.
Pilate knew Jesus claimed to be a king, but was disinterested when Jesus told him his kingdom was not of this world. So what kind of a king is Jesus?
- Who knows our greatest need.
My earliest years in the ministry were spent knocking on a lot of doors. That’s what a missionary does. When someone would answer the door, I would introduce myself and tell them I was starting a new church. I asked them to do a short survey there at the door to find out what they felt was the greatest need a new church could supply. Overwhelmingly, they said, “More family ministry and activities for children and teens.”
What do you think your greatest need is? I will bet some, but not all of you, might agree with the people I surveyed. Others might focus in on sports or music activities. Twelve-step programs are very popular as are such social issues as feeding the hungry.
People today have big needs: a better job, a cure for coronavirus, a little more time, a stronger relationship with your spouse, or your kids, or your friends? More confidence in the world around them? But are they really the greatest need? As legitimate as all of those needs may be, they could easily be like the 10th grader who inherits money from his grandmother. He may be sure that buying a new gaming system is the way to spend his inheritance. His parents might see it quite differently.
So what is our greatest need? What’s #1 on the list? What’s the thing we cannot do without? The answer is important because what we look for in a king, our king, will show us how we look at Jesus. I can tell you what God saw as our greatest need, and it was none of those things. He sent Jesus to be the solution to our greatest need, to be the king we needed.
- Who satisfies our greatest need. (verses 27-31)
What kind of king did he send? 27Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
What kind of a king is this? Who needs a king like that? We do. God knew that every single person that is born is taking one more step towards hell and there is nothing we can do to stop our slide into damnation.
We needed a king who would wear a crown of thorns. Having him stripped before a band of Roman soldiers and mocked with an old scarlet robe was a need. The world needed a king that would be beaten over the head with a reed staff. We needed a king who would be humiliated and publicly executed with criminals. It was only through these acts of savagery that the price of sin could be satisfied. God sent us the king we need, even though most people don’t know that’s our greatest need.
But we know! And that’s why we live the way we do. We are not disheartened when the whole world seems to be going sideways, because we know our King has won the victory. Even if we have a grim past or a difficult present we look to the future when every living creature will see that Jesus is the kind of King we need.
It is also why we come here to the Lord’s house. Nothing is more important, not your favorite football team playing the early games, not having family in from out of town, not the frustrations and fears of the week. It is practice for a great symphony of voices that will be raised on high when he comes again. Our lives and the decisions we make are a rehearsal for the day when he will come again with all his holy angels, the day when all of the troubles and distractions of this world will turn to dust and you and I will raise up our voices in a great unified anthem of praise to welcome his return.
Brothers and sisters, lift up your eyes! Your salvation is near. Praise Jesus with your entire life. Praise him and crown him, the King we need. Amen.