Words to Die By...Words to Live By

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!

Luke 19:38

Today, when we read the story of Jesus' so-called triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we understand that Jesus was not an ordinary king. Not only did he lack political authority, but also he did not aspire to it. We know that Jesus' kingship was of an altogether different order.

Thus, we can miss the scandalous nature of the scene depicted in Luke 19:28-40. For a moment, use your imagination. Suppose you were a Roman soldier and saw a Jewish man riding into Jerusalem as if in triumph, with his followers lauding him as king. What would you think? How would you feel? You would be extremely worried. What you were hearing sounded like treason. Surely, you'd immediately inform your superior, and soon the bad news would be passed along to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate.

Though Jesus knew that his kingdom was "not from this world" (John 18:36), he also knew very well the danger he was facing as his followers exalted him. He knew that "Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord" contained words to die by. In fact, a few hours later, Jesus was dying beneath a sign that read, "This is the King of the Jews" (Luke 23:38).

Yet, ironically, the same words that promoted Jesus' death can also be life-giving. When we acknowledge Jesus as our Lord, which is similar in meaning to King, when we live our lives in submission to his will, as one would under the rule of a king, we experience life as never before. Moreover, because Jesus, our King, chose to submit to death, we can receive the eternal life of his kingdom. Thus, the words that led to Jesus' death lead to our life.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: If the words of Jesus' followers were so dangerous, why didn't he stop them from hailing him as King? What does it mean for you to live with Jesus as your King? How might you live differently today if you were conscious of the kingship of Jesus over your life and, ultimately, over everything?

PRAYER: All praise be to you, King Jesus!

All praise be to you, because you are the promised king, the messiah of Israel.

All praise be to you, because you chose to serve, to suffer, even to die, so that we might live.

All praise be to you, because through your cross and resurrection you defeated the power of sin and death.

All praise be to you, my King! May I praise you with my words, my songs, my thoughts, and my actions. Amen.

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