This concluding part of our Christmas studies for 2022 was given by pastor Barry Forder at Calvary Portsmouth on 11th December 2022.
In this 2nd session we look at the other half of the Christmas message – Christ the King!
In our previous session we saw that the truth of Christmas has been obfuscated by tradition, and how that Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world, born in Bethlehem, the town of sacrificial lambs, and specifically in ‘In the Tower of the Flock’ (Migdal Edar) on the outskirts of Bethlehem as prophesied by Micah. We noted how, as a lamb destined to be offered as a sacrificial offering in Jerusalem, He had to be without blemish and so was wrapped in ‘swaddling cloths’ and laid in a manger.
The Levitical shepherds were chosen by God to be the first to see this new born baby precisely because it was their job to inspect the sacrificial lambs that would later be offered in Jerusalem.
But as we now come to consider ‘Christ the King’ we jump forward around two years to the time the wise men (Magi) from the east arrived.
As with the Lamb, the story of Israel’s King begins back in the book of Genesis and is unfolded throughout the Old Testament. In Genesis 14 we see a line of kings and priests, which included Melchizedek, that ruled and reigned in Jerusalem for a period of 1000 years – and incredible model in advance of the Millennial reign of Christ! God established the monarchy in Israel but through the prophet Hosea stated His ultimate goal that “I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst, Give me a king and princes?” (Hosea 13:10).
The last king to sit and reign on the Throne of David in Jerusalem was Zedekiah. He was subjugated and eventually defeated by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C. The ‘crown’ was then effectively taken to Babylon , where it remained for 500 years until a group of Magi – a priestly Medo-Persian sect that the prophet Daniel had once been made ruler over – brought the crown back from Babylon intent on giving it to the rightful King of Israel!
Daniel had evidently instructed these Magi regarding the prophesied coming of the Jewish Messiah. The Magi were renowed for their wise counsel and thus they were consulted by Eastern rulers regarding affairs of state, in particular, the appointment of a new king!
There had been a long rivalry between the Roman Empire, who had granted Herod the title ‘king of the Jews’ and the Parthian Empire, that had been far more sympathetic toward Israel.
Into the midst of this highly charged political environment come – not three kings on camels (tradition is very wide of the mark here!) – but, a great number of Magi looking to anoint and bring their homage to the rightful King of the Jews! No wonder Herod was shaken – and all Jerusalem with him!
As Dr Chuck Missler comments: “The Magi, likely traveling in force with unimaginable oriental pomp and adequate cavalry escort to insure their safe penetration of Roman territory, certainly alarmed Herod and the entire populace of Jerusalem”
Jesus was of the Jewish royal line through both Joseph (via Solomon – Matthew Ch1) and Mary (via Nathan – Luke Ch3), now the Magi ratified that fact.
Before becoming King, Jesus had to first fulfil His role as ‘Lamb of God’ to take away the sins of the world. But when Jesus returns, He will establish His throne and rule over Israel and the whole world from Jerusalem.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end”. (Luke 1:32)
“The Lord hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne” (Psalm 132:10)
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever”. (Daniel 2:44)
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one… And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles”. (Zechariah 14:9, 16)
–So, when you think ‘Christmas, think…
–This has been fulfilled!”
The King of the Jews
–This will be fulfilled – soon!
May you know God’s richest blessings this Christmastime.
The audio recording and PowerPoint slides used in the study are available for free download.