“See, Your King Is Coming To You!” (a Palm Sunday sermon)
A New Labor Government for NSW
Christopher Minns was elected as the next Premier of NSW last weekend. That means we now have a Labor government. However, it looks like Labor has fallen short of securing a majority government.
According to Kirralie Smith, spokesperson for Binary Australia:
That means activist “Independents” like Alex Greenwich might have the balance of power and can hold the people of NSW to ransom to pass his extreme gender “equality” bill.
Activist politicians like Greenwich, along with bureaucrats and gender zealots are going all out right now to undermine the foundations of our society and implement their toxic ideology.
And they don’t care who they hurt to get it done.
They want to see their pseudo-science in schools, in healthcare, in sports and throughout all of society.
In future, we may see in NSW such reprehensible behaviour as in Victoria last week, where Victorian Liberal MP Moira Deeming was suspended from her party for attending a Let Women Speak rally, a public event giving women a voice about a whole range of issues that affect women, such as domestic violence, rape crisis shelters, prisons, bathrooms, education and sport. She was accused by the leader of her party, John Pesutto, of being anti-trans, but the rally had nothing at all to do with issues related to transpersons!
We are reminded in these examples that, while human government is necessary, in all its forms, it fails us time and time again. Why do we believe any kind of salvation is available through political leaders and institutions?
What & Why?
Tell Daughter Zion, “See, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”(Matthew 21:5)
When Jesus entered Jerusalem the week before his crucifixion —an event we now commemorate as Palm Sunday— in his manner and method, he intentionally identified himself as the king promised and prophesied throught the Bible. The crowd recognised this and responded with praise.
Jesus fulfilled those prophecies both deliberately and naturally.
Where Jesus deliberately fulfilled those prophecies can be seen in the orchestration of his entry into Jerusalem. Where Jesus naturally fulfilled those prophecies can be seen in the story of wise-men arriving on the scene of Jesus’ birth asking, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” (Mt 2:2) They had followed a star, whose rising was foretold. From the womb, Jesus could not have orchestrated a star’s appearance.
Then when Jesus was unjustly arrested, accused, and brought before the Roman governor, who asked Jesus, “You are a king then?” (Jn 18:28ff.). Pilate took seriously the charges against Jesus, but also acknowledged his position and innocence regarding the charges.
Following his torture, Jesus could not have orchestrated the Roman governor’s insistence the nameplate above Jesus’ crucified head read, “King of the Jews”.
The promised and prophesied King is the universal king, recognised as such by men from the East and from the dominant Roman authorities of the time. He is above all kings, but is he your king?
He Was King of the Physical World
In his life and ministry, Jesus showed himself to be king of the physical world.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:27)
On the Sea of Galilee, Jesus was in a boat, sleeping, when a storm rose up. The disciples were afraid, naturally. Waking Jesus he commanded the storm to calm. Even the wind and the waves obeyed Him.
Jesus further demonstrated his power over the physical world when he cursed a fig tree (Mt 21:19) and when he later guided the disciples to miraculous catches of fish (Lk 5:1–7; Jn 21:4–6).
He Is King of the Artistic World
Throughout history since his death, Jesus has shown himself to be king of the artistic world.
Consider the great paintings inspired by Him:
While The Last Supper (1498) by Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps his most famous artwork with Christ Jesus as the main subject, his Salvator Mundi (1519) is also a very powerful image. Christ is depicted as the world’s saviour. It portrays him dressed in Renaissance garb, raising one hand in benediction while holding a crystal ball in his other.
Raphael’s The Transfiguration is one of his finest works, as well as his last.
One could argue these Renaissance painters were only completing projects commissioned by the Church or other deeply religious patrons. However, Christ is an important focus of contemporary artists as well, including one of my favourites, Salvador Dali.
Surrealism’s most important artist, Salvador Dali, is internationally recognized. This artwork was influenced by a sketch by the 16th-century Spanish Franciscan John of the Cross. And it is not Dali’s only Christ-inspired artwork.
While this artwork is nowhere near the quality of the other great paintings, I have always been moved by artistic representations of the image of Christ knocking at the door. Notice there is no handle on the outside of the door, implying those inside must welcome him in.
The literary world also would be poverty-stricken without Him.
Whatever a writer thinks regarding the actual truth of the Bible, no one will deny it’s a pretty good story. And there are many literary works inspired the stories contained therein.
J.K. Rowling was borrowing religious themes throughout the whole Harry Potter series, but it wasn’t until the last few chapters of the final book that any of us actually noticed. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry ends up willingly sacrificing his life to save everyone, and then being “resurrected.”
The magical world of Narnia is so imaginative that it makes this Bible story seem brand-new. Aslan, the gentle and loving Jesus figure, is sacrificed on the stone table to save his followers — but when they come back to rescue the body, it has vanished. The resurrected Aslan later leads his followers to Heaven, but that comes later in the Narnia series...
While I only saw the movie adaptation, in The Green Mile, Stephen King references Jesus through the salvific miracles he performs, and then references the crucifixion story by having his misunderstood, healing protagonist executed alongside two thieves.
Tell me if this, in any way, sounds familiar: Superman was sent to Earth by his father, adopted by a humble family, and then grows up using his superhuman abilities for good. It makes me wonder…
Alongside inspiring artwork, literary works, if one were to destroy all music about Him, then you would have to destroy Haydn, Handel, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven. Consider how poorer the world would be without this music:
Think of the great masterpieces of sculpture with Him as the subject.
At only 25 years old, Michaelangelo was commissioned to create a sculpture of Mary holding the dead Jesus across her lap for his tomb. It is the only work of Michelangelo’s that he signed.
Designed by sculptor Paul Landowski, Christ the Redeemer overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro and has become an iconic national symbol for the Brazilians.
If art captures the imagination and expresses the yearnings of the human heart, then Christ is the King of artistic world.
He Is the King of the Moral World
Similarly, no one can deny Jesus is King of the moral world, for his moral teachings are perfect, they need no revision.
His life and teachings have inspired great social reformers.
William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Beecher Stowe all fought slavery in the name of Christian principles.
Martin Luther King Jr fought racism. Francis Willard fought for temperance in the US, as did William and Catherine Booth in the UK.
The life and teachings of Jesus have inspired martyrs and missionaries. Óscar Romero, a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador, died on 24 March 1980, while celebrating Mass, because he spoke out against social injustice and violence during the Salvadoran Civil War.
Who can help but be moved by the story of Elisabeth Elliot, a missionary who inspired generations of evangelical Christians by returning to Ecuador with her toddler daughter to preach the Gospel to the Indian tribe that had killed her husband, Jim Elliot, and four other American men who sought to bring Protestant Christianity to the remote Waorani Indians.
Jesus is King of the moral world.
He Is the King Over Death
Christ Jesus is also King over death for he restored others to life, the first being the widow’s son in the town of Nain:
When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, “Don’t weep.” Then he came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And he said, “Young man, I tell you, get up!” (Luke 7:13–14)
Jesus also restored life to the daughter of a synagogue leader named Jairus:
So he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he gave orders that she be given something to eat. (Luke 8:54–55)
Jesus also raised his friend, Lazarus, to life after four days in a tomb:
After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43)
‘How is this possible?’ you might be wondering. ‘Who has such power over death?’
Jesus took his three closest disciples with him up a high mountain, where he was transfigured before them:
He was transfigured in front of them, and his face shone like the sun; his clothes became as white as the light. (Matthew 17:2)
Additionally, Moses and Elijah appeared in that moment, and talked with Jesus. Both men had died long before.
The transfiguration showed Jesus’ power, which was finally and completely displayed with his own resurrection:
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Jesus is King over death because he conquered it for others by breaking its bonds on himself.
He Is the King of Kings
All of this evidence —his power over the physical world, his inspiration of the artistic world, his superiority in the moral world, his conquering of death— all this evidence points to only one conclusion: Jesus is the King of kings! His kingdom began at Pentecost, where
those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them. (Acts 2:41)
The entrance to this Kingdom is open to all and citizenship is an honour, as it is written,
Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly wait for a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:20)
Citizenship guarantees life everlasting, for as it is written,
For we do not have an enduring city here; instead, we seek the one to come. (Hebrews 13:14)
As King of kings, Jesus is an absolute monarch, for he declared,
All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18b)
We can debate politics all you want, but an absolute monarchy is the best form of government —if you have a perfect monarch.
As King of kings, Jesus reigns eternally, as it is written,
[The kings of the nations] will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those with him are called, chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)
All will acknowledge Jesus is King:
For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God. (Romans 14:11)
The Bible details the prophecy of a king sent by God, a king for all people everywhere, for all time.
And on that first Palm Sunday, as he rode into Jerusalem on a colt, the foal of a donkey, under the waving palm branches and to the resounding praises of the crowd, Jesus declared he is that prophesied king. He is the fulfillment of that promise and he will return to make all things new, to right all the wrongs, to heal the brokenhearted, to satisfy those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
The King of kings desires to be King of your heart and life, as it is written,
See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)
Will you let Him in?
For until you let him in, you are a sinner, condemned, unclean.
The King of kings comes to you, gently, not to condemn but to offer friendship and a free, full and forever life.
Have you ever wondered how he could love you, me, us? We need not understand why, but ours is to simply accept the grace, mercy, forgiveness and love of our Saviour Jesus with gratitude and our allegiance.
How marvellous, how wonderful, is our Saviour’s love for us. Let us stand amazed in the presence of Jesus and wonder at his love, as we sing…
Based on an outline by P. H. Welshimer, “Behold, thy King Cometh Unto Thee”, Sermon Outlines: Soul Winning! Church Building!, ed. Mildred Welshimer Phillips (Cincinnati, OH, USA: Standard, n.d.), pg 7–8.
Anne Davies and Michael McGowan, “NSW election: crossbench to push Labor on gambling reform as hopes of majority government fade”, The Guardian, 30-Mar-2023, https://replug.link/a94061e0 (accessed 31-Mar-2023).
KIn an email to supporters dated 29-Mar-2023; see also Tamsin Rose and Michael McGowan, “Sydney MP Alex Greenwich pushes for new protections for LGBTQ+ people after ‘hurtful’ Mark Latham tweet”, The Guardian, 31-Mar-2023, https://replug.link/10e4d9a0 (accessed 31-Mar-2023).
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are taken from The Christian Standard Bible (Nashville, TN, USA: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017).
Although, by Jesus’ own reckoning, it started with his condemnation by the religious leaders just prior to his crucifixion, the point at which he was fully identified as the Son of Man (Ps 110:1; Dn 7:13; Mt 16:27; 24:30; Rv 1:7).
See also Revelation 19:16.
See also Philippians 2:10-11.