Christ the King (Gleanings in Christology #7)

In the catechism’s treatment of Christ’s three offices, the final set of questions relates to kingship. Children confess that Christ is king, “because he rules over us and defends us.” In response to the question of why he or she needs Christ as king, each child confesses, “Because I am weak and helpless.”

Hebrews reveals to us that this king is none other than the powerful Son of God, even God himself. He is powerful, both creating the world and sustaining it. He will one day shake the heavens and earth in judgment. But wrapped up with his power is his compassion, revealed in his incarnation and sympathetic priestly ministry. Blessed, indeed, are all who take refuge in him! (Ps 2:12).

The motif of the Son’s kingship, as with his prophetic and priestly offices, spills over into the church. Our reign is one that is caught between the times of the exaltation of Christ at his ascension, and his return to establish his eternal kingdom. We live “in these last days” (Heb 1:1), waiting “till his enemies be made his footstool” (1:13; 10:13; cf. 2:8), but we also “have tasted the powers of the age to come” (6:5), and receive “a kingdom that cannot be shaken” (12:28). We reign with him provisionally as a “royal priesthood” (1 Pet 2:9).

But one day, persevering in faith, we will fully reign with Christ in his consummated kingdom. We will rule, even as the Son was given authority from the Father (Rev 2:26-27; Ps 2).

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