Friday, April 18, 2014

My Kingdom is not of this world

John 18-19

“Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

As we listen to these final words of Jesus before His death, the theme of the two kingdoms returns. Two kingdoms, two truths, two ways. One is the submission and obedience of Jesus to His Father's will. The other is the sword signifying a rule by force. One demonstrates compassion and freedom. The other is controlled by fear and selfishness.  

The beautiful unity between the will of the Father and the Son is the hallmark of of Jesus' kingdom and His reign. Not with the power of the sword but with the greater power of hearts won over by a merciful and loving Savior.

“My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

Jesus' kingdom will not be like this place. And yet He came here to get us, not only risking comforts, not only risking His life, but losing His life. Now Jesus finds Himself all alone in front of this perfect known for  "vindictiveness and furious temper." Where were all who loved Him, were following Him, were healed, fed, and restored by Him?  All had abandoned Him. Jesus was all alone in a throne room, arrested, before a man with earthly powers. 

Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”

Jesus answered,
“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

Is this a photo of two kings? How can this be? One bound and in rags and the other on a throne. There is only room for one king. That is the nature of kingship. And there is only one truth. That is the nature of truth.

We don't really get to decide what is truth. But we can choose to hear it. Or not.

Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?”

Jesus answered,
“You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”

Pilate thought he had power over Jesus and certainly, from the looks of things, that was true. But like all earthly power, it was fragile and fleeting. Jesus' power is complete and eternal. Pilate's power was ultimately controlled by the Father.

Pilate...brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat... And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”

But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!”

Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?”

The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”

And so there it is, that was their choice. The king they chose was Caesar. Which king will you choose? 

As for me, I need the King who heals the sick, restores the broken, feeds the hungry, restores sight to the blind. Because I have found in myself all those things: sick, broken, hungry, and blind. I need the One willing to take the pain of the whip, carry His cross, lay still as the nails were hammered into His hands and feet because of His great love for me. For me, that is Truth too beautiful to turn away from.

He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

The doorway into His kingdom is open to me because it is finished. He paid the price. I am free. I am His. I belong in His kingdom.

Are you there too? Have you chosen His kingdom? He is waiting for you! Come. Come with me! Please come.  

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