Is Christ Your King?


Christ the King

2 Sam 5: 1-3; Col 1: 12-20; Lk 23: 35-43

Dc. Larry Brockman


We all have the same choice to make, the same choice that the people that witnessed the Crucifixion had to make.   

First, we can align ourselves with the powers of this world.  The rulers and soldiers were in that group and so was the first thief.  They mocked Jesus as an impossible King because Jesus, who claimed to be an innocent man, suffered and died at the hands of evil men, but did not exhibit the power of the God he claimed to be.  He did not save himself from the suffering and evil of this world.  To people of this world, that made Jesus a false Christ rather than the all-powerful God come to save the world.   

Or second, we can be like the majority of the people at the scene- bystanders who just watched what was going on, passively watched, and did nothing.   

Lastly, we can be like the second thief who admitted his own guilt, proclaimed Jesus innocence, and simply asked Jesus to remember him in the next life.  What an expression of faith and trust that second thief displayed.   

All three of these choices on Christ the King are ours to make as we navigate through life.  Let’s take a closer look at all three choices.   

First, the rulers and soldiers.  These people are the folks who are tied to things of this world.  Here are some of the things they believe in:  “Show me the money”; success in the world, like a popular actor or actress or singer or athlete; or power- power that draws people to the winning side whether it is right or not.  Yes, there are people who align themselves with power rather than with right.  Now these are worldly values- money, fame, and power- and they are actually substitutes for God.  They are gods in and of themselves.  And the danger is that we embrace those values rather than the values of our Faith.  When you come right down to it, the value of life is not this worldly life- but the potential for everlasting life.  The rulers and the soldiers thought Jesus was a sham because they were looking for someone who would and could take care of themselves in this life right now to the exclusion of everybody else and everything else.  Notice that the first thief wasn’t so much interested in Jesus saving Jesus as he was in Jesus saving the rest of them as well, guilt or no guilt.  But that was not Jesus’ way.  He did not put himself first, and did not want fame and followers who were hoping He would do something for them.   

Second, there were the bystanders.  They neither supported the system that crucified Jesus nor did they do anything to help Jesus.  They just stood by, seemingly innocent of any wrongdoing.  But by being passive, they gave their consent.  They were not willing to buck the system.  They were not willing to do anything to commit themselves.  It is so easy for all of us to fall in that category- the bystanders.  Otherwise, how do we explain the low turnouts at our elections; or a lack of enthusiasm about our faith.  When someone says something that isn’t right, do we take a stand, or do we just stand by.  Then there is the lack of active participation in parish events.  After months of planning and announcements, our “Why Catholic” program began with just a couple of hundred people involved.  Where were the other 10,000 folks in our 6,000 plus registered families?  You see, it really is true that either you are with Christ or against Christ, there is no in between.  And we all have a responsibility to get to know Christ the King.  If we are going through life just engaged in the daily battle, we are like the bystanders who were not involved.  There are lots of excuses- not enough time or or other things to do, or an attitude of “let’s just wait and see”.  But that’s what they are- excuses.  

Our third option is the one chosen by a single solitary person at the scene- the second thief.  Our Bible experts tell us that the Greek word used for “Remember” means something a little more than the translation implies.  It means that the second thief asked over and over again for Jesus to remember him.  It means that he was persistent.  So here is a person who sees the hypocrisy and evil of Jesus crucifixion for what it was, and even though he himself suffered the same sentence, he admits his failing, and asks over and over for forgiveness and to be welcomed into the everlasting life in the Kingdom of God.  That is real faith- faith that Jesus was the Messiah; that there was a Kingdom of God; that Jesus could forgive him; and most important of all, that the promise that Kingdom of God is not of this world but is nevertheless real and worthwhile.   

Today we celebrate the end of the church year.  That’s why our liturgy focuses on Christ the King and te coming of the end of times and the Kingdom of God.  Symbolically, the end of the Church year means that time will run out for all of us some day.  Our end times can come unexpectedly, at any time.  So now is the time for us to make a commitment to Christ.  Either we are actively against Him; or we are passively not for Him; or we commit ourselves and our energy towards Him.  The choice is ours. 

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