|14 April 2017|
|The Cross: Radically Redefining Kingship|
The core of Christian ideology is grounded in the knowledge that Jesus came to reconcile the world with His Father, and died on the cross to open to us the glory of salvation.
However, many of us forget that Christ’s disciples were entirely unprepared for this approach to kingship. According to a piece on RZIM:
Though some have argued that the disciples merely refused to accept failure after Jesus’s death and made up the story of the resurrection, a crucified and risen Messiah simply did not fit into Jewish expectations for the one who was to come. Though there was no single understanding of what the Messiah would be like, there were common elements that every Jew would have assumed within their messianic expectations.
Why? Because the Jews anticipated that their Messiah would adhere to their earthly standards of kingship: rich clothes, a fine estate, many servants, a high place in the Temple. Some of the Jews even expected that Christ would come as a mighty warrior-king and vanquish and kill all the nations and peoples who were enemies of the Jews.
Why, then, would his followers maintain that he was the Messiah? Why did they not just cut their losses after his death and move on?
The answer to these questions is simple: because Jesus rose from the dead. He lived unlike any other king, died unlike any other king, and rose again from the dead, a feat which no other king will ever replicate by their own power.
In this light of resurrection, the disciples had to go through a massive renewal of their thinking. Seeing the once-dead Jesus now standing before their eyes brought them to what was a radical new way of understanding the Messiah.
The Messiah’s glory was not shown through his power, though it easily could have been, nor was it shown in status or position. Instead, it was shown in his suffering and his love, which remains a far-reaching, albeit stymieing, gift to the world. He may not have been the Messiah all had hoped for, but he is indeed the Messiah of great hope.
In the spirit of the Easter season, as we prepare to celebrate with family and friends, let us call to mind the example of kingship which Christ set. He could have come into the world as a mighty king or warrior, attaining worldly success. However, he chose to come in the form of a poor carpenter, and die as an outcast of his own people, demonstrating the radical love which he has for us. Let us take this as our call to redefine leadership in our own lives, whether at home, at work, or at school, demonstrating Christ’s radical love to those around us. Happy Easter!