Christ the King
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence.” –Daniel 7:13
For weeks now our Sunday sermons have been based on the Gospel readings listed in what’s called the Revised Common Lectionary. If you’re unfamiliar with what the Lectionary is, you’re not alone. And speaking personally, although I knew and have used the Lectionary before, I had never really taken the time to study each of the scriptures listed for any given Sunday. That is, until last week.
Defined, the Lectionary is a list of readings from the Bible that are prescribed for each Sunday in a one-year period. PLC is currently following the Year B 2021 Church Year Calendar. The Sunday readings include a passage from the Old Testament, a passage from a Psalm, a reading from either the Epistles or Revelation, and one from the Gospels. The Lectionary also suggests a “Hymn of the Day.”
This past week I decided I would start my study of the Lectionary readings with the hymn, although truthfully, the lyrics meant more to me after I had read and studied the other scripture passages. And at first, I didn’t quite see how they all fit together to provide a theme. But when I did, wow! So, indulge me, okay? Here’s what the readings (abbreviated by me) from the Lectionary revealed to me:
First, the reading in the Old Testament was from Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 (I focused on vs. 9, 13, and 14):
“As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat.” (That’s God the Father)
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like the son of man (that’s Jesus), coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He (Jesus) was given authority, glory, and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
Fast forward to the Gospel lesson in the Lectionary: John:18:33-37 in the New Testament. Jesus is speaking to Pilate in verse 36:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” (Flashback to Daniel’s vision!)
Since I love the Psalms, it was no problem finding Psalm 93. Here’s what I found in verses 1 and 2 (SO perfectly related to the Old and New Testament readings!):
“The Lord reigns, He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength” (vs. 1).
“Your throne was established long ago; You are from all eternity” (vs. 2).
And now for the final reading in the Lectionary, this time from (the book of) Revelation 1:4b-8:
“Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come…” (John is talking about Jesus.)
“Look, He is coming with the clouds (remember Daniel’s words?), and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him…” (vs. 7).
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (vs. 8).
And finally, the first verse from the hymn suggested by the Lectionary. This united the readings in the Lectionary for me into one cohesive picture of Jesus:
The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty Victor’s brow.
-Written by Thomas Kelly (!) in 1820.
And there you have it! From beginning to end, with all the good parts in between, God’s Word reveals CHRIST THE KING. May His name be praised! (And the Lectionary be studied!)