King of kings

At this time of year, we celebrate the birth of our Savior and sing of the “newborn King”  and J. C. Ryle, as quoted at Grace Gems, connects Jesus’ kingly birth with his kingly death:

how our Lord was crucified as a KING. The title placed over our Lord’s head made this plain and unmistakable. The reader of Greek, or Latin, or Hebrew, could not fail to see that He who hung on the central cross of the three on Golgotha, had a royal title over His head. The overruling hand of God so ordered matters, that the strong will of Pilate overrode for once the wishes of the malicious Jews. In spite of the chief priests, our Lord was crucified as “the King of the Jews.”

It was fit and right that so it should be. Even before our Lord was born, the angel Gabriel declared to the Virgin Mary, “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David–and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:32, 33.) Almost as soon as He was born, there came wise men from the East, saying, “Where is He that is born King of the Jews?” (Matt. 2:2.) The very week before the crucifixion, the multitude who accompanied our Lord at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, had cried, “Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:13.) The current belief of all godly Jews was, that when Messiah, the Son of David came, He would come as a King. A kingdom of heaven and a kingdom of God was continually proclaimed by our Lord throughout His ministry. A King indeed He was, as He told Pilate, of a kingdom utterly unlike the kingdoms of this world, but for all that a true King of a true kingdom, and a Ruler of true subjects. As such He was born. As such He lived. As such He was crucified. And as such He will come again, and reign over the whole earth, King of kings and Lord of lords.


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