(Adults, with 3-6 year olds we never mention Jesus' death without in the same breath proclaiming the Resurrection. Young children are not yet sinful, and the suffering of Jesus, the one they love, is horrific. We never leave the young child in the darkness—we always move to the reality of the light—we always proclaim the Good News.)
This Sunday is a special feast day for Jesus. It is called the feast of Christ the King. Christ is a name that is used for Jesus. It means "one who is anointed," one who is chosen by God for something special. He is our King. That means Jesus is the best, the greatest, the first of all. We love him.
The reading for this Sunday talks about Jesus dying on the cross. If he is our King, why does he die?
The people watching say,
“If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
He does not seem like a King. They do not understand.
“Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
He does not seem like God's chosen one. They do not understand.
The people do not understand about dying. They think death is the end.
The people do not know what we know.
We know that Jesus dies on that cross
God raises him to new life never to die again. Never ever.
We know that Jesus dies and his body is put in the tomb
when the women go to the tomb on the third day they find it empty because Jesus is so full of the Risen life of God, he can never die again.
JESUS LIVES. He is alive.
Jesus always knows he will die on the cross. He says,
I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
He makes his life a gift.
He gives all of himself in the bread and the wine, before the soldiers ever come to take his life away. Can they take away something that he has already given???
No wonder death is not the end! No wonder death cannot beat him!
After Jesus dies, God fills him with abundant life. He can never die again.
Does Jesus keep his new Risen Life all to himself?
No. He makes his Risen Life a gift, too.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10b)
He shares his new Risen Life with us.
Oh, those silly people watching him die on the cross. They think that this is the end. They think that Jesus is not the King,
they think he is not the best,
they think he is not first of all.
But what do we know?
Jesus is the first born of the dead! He is alive!
Stand up and sing! Jesus is king!
We love him.