Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, Year C
2 Samuel 5:1-3
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5 (see 1)
November 20, 2022
Today we celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ as King of the Universe.
The Jews had been waiting for a new messiah king for a long time. Some embraced Jesus. Some rejected him. Some of the “rulers sneered at Jesus.” They cried out, “He saved others, let him save himself, if he is the chosen one, the Christ of God.” They say “if” but they had already rejected him.
Likewise, “the soldiers jeered at him.” Of course, as soldiers they would expect a king to be a mighty king, one that could not be arrested and crucified by his enemies. ‘They called out, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.”’ For them, saving himself meant escaping crucifixion. For us, it means so much more.
What does it mean to be “king”?
After Saul’s death, “the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron.” They would anoint him king of Israel. Why? They recognize him as one of them, sharing bone and flesh as part of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. They said to David, “In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the Israelites out and brought them back.” They recognized David as a great soldier and leader. They acknowledge that the Lord said to him, “You shall shepherd my people Israel and shall be commander of Israel.” A good king is not just a commander. A good king shepherds his people. He cares for his people as a shepherd cares for a flock. Jesus does not come to be a political king. He comes to be the Good Shepherd.
The Lord had already had Samuel anoint Jesus as King (1 Samuel 16:1-13). Now, the people do the same. Perhaps a lesson there, when we elect officials do we pick who we want and then pray for them or do we pray that God leads us to vote for the person He has already chosen?
Jesus is our king. As Paul writes, “He is the head of the body, the church.” We are the Body of Christ. Christ is our head.
Returning to our gospel passage, the rulers and the soldiers were not the only ones to mock Jesus. Jesus was crucified alongside criminals. One of them, truly guilty of crime, joins in mocking him.
Does everyone mock him? No! There is another criminal, crucified alongside Jesus who admits the first criminal and him “have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes.” However, he goes on to say about Jesus, “but this man has done nothing criminal.” He rightly professes Jesus is innocent.
He then turns to Jesus and says, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He knows Jesus to be a king. However, we should recognize the significance of him saying, “when you come into your kingdom.”
Where is Jesus’ kingdom? The Jews expected a messiah king. Many of them saw this centered on a political king, king of an earthly kingdom.
Jesus’ kingdom is not an earthly kingdom.
We call him “King of the Universe.” Indeed, as Paul writes, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
Jesus’ kingship is greater than anything we could imagine.
When the repentant criminal asks Jesus to remember him, Jesus replies, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with in Paradise.”
Paradise…Jesus is king of Heaven. He tells the repentant criminal he will be with him in Heaven. Jesus saves him from his sins.
Jesus is our king. When we come to him with repentant hearts, He will save us. Our Father wants us to be in Heaven. As Paul writes of our Father, “He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Through Jesus, we are saved from our sins.
Jesus is the King of the Universe. The question I ask you is Jesus king of your heart and soul?