Christ the King – Luke 23 & Col 1

Preparing for this week’s post I was struck by the confluence of the triumphal reading in Colossians, and the crucifixion account in Luke. Superficially, these seem at odds, until you remember what Jesus had been banging on about for three years: “When I am lifted up, I will draw all people to me.”

He wasn’t talking about being lifted up in glory, exalted to the right hand of the father, not that type of lifted up. He meant the ugly, brutish, humiliating lifted up of the cross, probably the nastiest way the human race has ever invented for torturing its members to death. Humanity at its worst. But humanity at its best, in Jesus.

For the cross was not a tragic accident cutting short a promising career. It was not a wonderful plan gone horribly wrong. It was not a mistake or an error of judgement or the triumph of evil.

This always was Plan A.

The lifting of Jesus on the cross was his enthronement as king.

King of the Jews it said on the sign above his head. They meant it as mockery, but they made it too small. King of the Jews? Oh, so much more. This was the glorious enthronement of the ultimate king. This was the one who cried not “I am done,” but “It is done!” The victor’s shout as he crosses the finish line. The artist’s affirmation as the final stroke is placed. Perfection. All is complete. The creator looks at his work and proclaims it ‘very good’. It. Is. Done.

In Jesus’s death, on the final day of creation, ended God’s work of creating humans in his likeness. Jesus, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of creation. The world waited and rested on the sabbath. On the first day of a new week, Jesus’ new-creation body, the firstborn from among the dead, rose and ushered in a new creation.

Hear these two reading intermingled in a jaw-droppingly powerful duologue. It is best performed by two readers with different voices, placed at opposite sides.

Click for PDF Christ the King dramatic reading of Luke 23:33-43 and Colossians 1:11-20.

Other resources for Christ the King

Liturgy for Proper 29 (Christ the King)

Luke 1:68-79, Luke 23:33-43, Colossians 1:11-20

Confession and Absolution

We confess that we have not loved the Lord our God with our whole hearts.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

Neither have we loved our neighbours as ourselves.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

We ask for mercy and grace, that we may live new lives as forgiven people.
Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.

May the God of all mercies
revive and restore us,
pardon and deliver us,
and strengthen us to live for his glory.

Blessing and Dismissal

May the tender mercy of our God be ours.
May the dawn from on high break upon us.
May light guide our feet into the way of peace.
And may the blessing of God – Father, Son, Spirit –
be upon us and remain with us always.

Go in Christ’s name and live his life.
We will. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s