November 19, 2010


Christ the King - C
Luke 23:35-43

What Expected of a King

The refrain of this Scripture passage is "save oneself." In fact, in 8 short verses, the idea is repeated three times.

The first time, the rulers "sneered at Jesus" and commented to each other, "let him save himself."

The second time, the soldiers "jeered at" Jesus, "Save yourself."

The third time, one of the criminals "reviled Jesus" challenging him to "save yourself and us."

It is clear in the mind of all these people that saving oneself is what expected of a king: "if he is the chosen one," "If you are King of the Jews," and "Are you not the Christ?"

Jesus Christ, the Annointed of God, the King of the universe, however, does not come to save himself. Earlier in the Gospel of Luke, after the encounter with Zaccheaus, Jesus declares his mission, "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost." (19:10)

And now, at the moment of the cross, the moment of his victory over selfishness and sins, he proves himself ever true to his mission. He shows no concern for himself. Rather, he saves the criminal who seeks his mercy and brings him into the Kingdom.

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