What does the coronation of Jesus mean?
Christ the King Sunday is the last Sunday in the church year. This is the day when followers of Jesus remember that we believe in a Messiah who was rejected. It is the day when we prepare ourselves for a new year of faith as we affirm our faith in Jesus who was coronated as king through the weakness of the cross. It is the day when we bear witness to a mocking world that we are saved by Jesus who chose not to save himself as he was coronated the Lord of life through his crucifixion.
Christ the King Sunday is when we remember the coronation of Jesus as he was:
- abandoned by his followers
- held in a death grip by the powers that be
- crowned with thorns twisted around his head
- nailed in weakness to the cross
Christ the King Sunday is when we remember the coronation of Jesus:
- as the religious leaders cried mockingly, “If you are the Messiah then save yourself!”
- as the soldiers cried mockingly, “If you are the King of the Jews then save yourself.”
- as the criminal who hung on a cross next to Jesus, cried mockingly, “If you are the Messiah…then save yourself! And us!”
Christ the King Sunday is when we remember that Jesus chose not to save himself as he:
- prayed “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing”
- told the penitent criminal, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
- said, “Father, into our hands I commend my spirit.”
- breathed his last
Christ the King Sunday is the day we remember the coronation of Jesus as Jesus transformed:
- the shame of the cross into glory
- the foolishness of the cross by the power of God
- the humiliation of the cross into the exaltation of Jesus
Christ the King Sunday is the day we remember that Jesus:
- redeemed his suffering on the cross
- empowers us to redeem the suffering of our lives as we witness to our faith through the circumstances of our lives
- is coronated as King of our lives
Christ the King Sunday is the day when we acknowledge what Dietrich Bonhoffer, a German Lutheran pastor, author, teacher and martyr said about Jesus, “A king who dies on the Cross must be the king of a rather strange kingdom.” What I would submit to you on this Christ the King Sunday is that the rather strange kingdom of which Bonhoeffer spoke is the kingdom of redemptive suffering.
Sunday Htoo is the name of a refugee from Burma who fled with her family as a refugee by walking for nine days in her slippers in the deep forest. Her father carried all the food. Her mother carried her one-year-old brother. Her other young siblings had to walk by themselves as she carried all the cookware, some blankets, and clothes for them as they fled the terror of war.
Sunday says she was sustained by I Peter 5:7-9:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (NIV).
Reflecting on the circumstances that led her family to become refugees Sunday writes, “When we suffer as God’s children, we know we are not alone.” God is with us, and our brothers and sisters around the world are with us in prayer and solidarity.
Faith in Jesus Christ is faith in the king of a rather strange kingdom. It is a kingdom where the king chose not to save himself so we might be saved. It is a kingdom where suffering can be redeemed even when suffering defines the reality of our lives. Faith in Christ the King is faith that Jesus can redeem a suffering creation that is all too often defined by senseless shootings and deaths in our communities.
Today is Christ the King Sunday, the coronation of Jesus as king of a rather strange kingdom where:
- suffering is confessed as part of life but not as the final destination of life
- God’s power is realized in weakness
- we live with faith in the Savior who chose not to save himself so that we might be saved
On this Christ the Kingdom Sunday, may God bless you with life in this kingdom.
The Coronation of Jesus
by Pastor Marc Brown
November 20, 2022
Accompanying Scriptures: Luke 23:33-46
Fort Hill United Methodist Church
Order of Worship for November 20, 2022
Scripture Lesson Luke 23:33-46
The Good News “The Coronation of Jesus”
Music “We Will Glorify” by Twila Paris
Closing Music “The King in Triumph” by Ross Anderson