Jesus Christ came to the Earth with a purpose that he fulfilled and is fulfilling.
These can be split down into several roles or ‘ministries’:
One title is that of ‘King’ and why not, he was with the Father when everything was created.
The second title is ‘the’ Prophet because he reveals things about God.
The third title is ‘the’ High Priest and he was able to stand between the Holy God and humanity.
A whole Psalm about Jesus – Hate without reason
In some Psalms, we can find solitary verses which speak of Jesus.
In other Psalms, there are large portions devoted to Him, but in Psalm 2, we find that all of it is applicable to King Jesus:
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?First part of Psalm 2:1-12 NIV
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
‘Let us break their chains,’ they say, ‘and throw off their fetters.’
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.’ “
A war against God and the battlefield is the Earth
Basically, this huge mass of people, including nations and rulers, are rebelling against the Lord and His Anointed One – that is Jesus Christ.
They are opposing the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You would have thought that King Jesus would have been welcomed.
That His Kingdom of freedom, and love, would have been gladly embraced.
But, instead of rejoicing at the arrival of such a wonderful King, they found fault and despised Him. Jesus said:
They have hated both Me and My Father.John 15:25 NIV
But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law;
‘They hated Me without reason.’ “
Even now, His Kingdom and His people are attacked in a most spiteful way, and with such unreasonable violence in many countries around the world.
Christians are often arrested or suffer persecution by fictitious charges in many countries:
Yousef Nadarkhani and three of his church members, Saheb (Zaman) Fadaee, Mohammad Ali (Yasser) Mosayebzadeh and Mohammad Reza Omidi, are serving 10-year prison sentences on charges of ‘acting against national security’ and ‘promoting Zionist Christianity.’The Voice of the Martyrs [i]
The men are all members of the Church of Iran.”
In November 2014, Deacon Jang was kidnapped from China and put in a North Korean prison.The Voice of the Martyrs [i]
Fifteen months later, Pastor Han was lured from his home and brutally stabbed to death in Changbai.
Deacon Jang was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his ministry to the North Korean people.
There are very many more terrible stories of persecution and torture towards Christians purely because they are Christians.
There is no good human logic why Christ’s Kingdom attracts so much venom, but the Bible tells us that this hostility is due to our fallen, corrupted nature.
People are naturally at war with God’s Kingdom
Psalm 2 gives us an insight into this.
It tells us what the aim of their warfare was, and it is the same aim in the majority of people today.
What is the aim of their warfare?
Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”Psalm 3:2 NIV
- They want the chains to be broken.
- They don’t want to be under God’s government.
- They don’t want to wear His yoke, even if it is an easy yoke.
- They will not have their lustful appetites, and passions reformed.
- They are impatient of His restraints, and the duties that are required.
- They try to break the chains of their conscience and of God’s Laws.
It is futile to fight against God
They don’t realise that it is a vain thing to plot against God:
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them!”Psalm 2:4 NIV
He is far above them. They are absolutely no threat whatsoever to Him.
After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and said:
…all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me..”Matthew 28:18 NIV
Paul tells us that:
Christ was raised from the dead, and He sat down at God’s right hand, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.Ephesians 1:21 NIV
And God placed all things under His feet, and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church.”
At times the rulers and people think they have won the battle
But the Lord sits serene and secure upon His throne.
See for an example, where Peter and John pray:
…’Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in Jerusalem to conspire against Your Holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed.Acts 4:27
They did what Your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.’ “
They thought their plan of eliminating Jesus had worked, but in reality, it was going according to the plan of the One enthroned in heaven.
I have installed My King on Zion, My Holy Hill.”Psalm 2:6 NIV
He sits perfectly secure knowing that nothing can thwart His purposes.
Jesus said that the gates of hell shall not overcome the church. (Matthew 16:18)
The Apostle Peter quoted part of this Psalm in his prayer, which finished with the building being shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
Sovereign Lord, you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.Act 4:25 NIV
You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
‘Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed one. ’
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.
They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
The Apostle Paul quoted from it in his sermon at Antioch:
What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.Act 13:33 NIV
As it is written in the second Psalm:
‘You are my son; today I have become your father.’
God raised him from the dead so that he will never be subject to decay.”
And the writer to the Hebrews also quoted part of it in his letter:
For to which of the angels did God ever say,Hebrews 1:5 NIV
‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’ ?”
Here’s the second half of Psalm 2:
I will proclaim the LORD’s decree: He said to me,Psalm 2:7-12 NIV
‘You are my son; today I have become your father.
Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron ; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
Crucifying Jesus the King
A man stood before Pilate having the appearance of just one of the common people.
He had no rich man’s garments, nor kingly robes.
He had been interrogated through the night, which finished with Him being spat upon, and punched savagely, while blindfolded.
His appearance was pitiful.
His ordeal was degrading, humiliating, and agonising.
Pontius Pilate, the fifth Prefect of the Roman province of Judea from AD 26–36, would have heard the rumours about Jesus the ‘King’.
Yes, some reckoned that this man was the King of the Jews!
This despised man just didn’t fit Pilate’s idea of a king.
Where were the royal robes, where were his court officials?
Where was his army?
But Jesus answered Pilate:
My Kingdom is not of this world.John 18:36 NIV
If it were, My servants would fight to prevent My arrest by the Jews.
But now My Kingdom is from another place.”
Nations and people rebel against Jesus’ kingdom
In the prophetic visions relating to the kingdoms of the world, in the books of Daniel and Revelation, it is interesting to note that these kingdoms emerge from out of the sea and the land:
Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.”Daniel 7:3 NIV
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.Revelation 13:1 & 11 NIV
It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name…
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth.
It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon…”
These ‘beasts’ and powers are from this world.
Jesus’ kingdom and the heavenly city
But the Holy City in Revelation comes down from God, from heaven:
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.Revelation 22:2 NIV
Christ’s Kingdom is from above, it originates from heaven.
He rules in the minds of His people by the power of Truth.
Here is a King that is more than just on the side of truth, He is The Truth.
In Revelation, He is called ‘Faithful and True’.
He is the best King to submit to.
He is the most worthy King.
There is none like Him.
[i] The Voice of the Martyrs
Images: thanks to The Pictorial Dictionary published by The Educational Book Company, London
Pilate image: thanks to The Pictorial Dictionary published by The Educational Book Company, London.