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King of Peace

What Kind of King
/ Part
March 29, 2022
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Challenge Follow Up

During the week as you asked God to reveal Himself to you more fully, what did you learn? Did you learn anything about your own preconceptions of God?

The King of Peace

Jesus, that spectacular prophet from Galilee, healed the sick, cast out demons, and fed thousands of people with a few loaves and fishes. If that crazy guy Lazarus is to be believed, Jesus even raised him from the dead! His words shocked the heart and caused people to abandon their lives and follow Him. He preached love for God, love for others (even gentiles!), and a kind of obedience of the heart that made the law and prophets come alive. When He showed up, thousands of Jews flooded the street to hail Him as king. They believed He was the one who would finally throw off the Roman yoke and bring justice to the Children of God. What they failed to grasp was that Jesus was not an ordinary king. He was the King over all other kings. This King of Glory had come to bring an entirely new kind of kingdom - a kingdom of the heart.

He spoke plainly of this kingdom over and over again. He told His listeners to seek first God's kingdom (Mathew 6:33) and trust God to provide and sustain them. He told them the Kingdom of Heaven was like a pearl - a treasure worth giving everything you have to gain (Matthew 13:44-46). Yet they still could not believe it. The Jewish leaders saw Him as a threat - not to the Romans, but to their own positions of power and authority. They knew instinctively that Jesus' message meant they would lose their spot as the voice of God to His people.

Now it was the appointed time. All of the law and prophets, all of human history, had been aimed like an arrow at this moment. Jesus was about to show, through His epic sacrifice, what it meant to be a king in God's kingdom.

The Power of Love

Our King's mercy triumphed over justice (James 2:13)

It started in the garden when they came to arrest him (John 18 and 19). Judas arrived with the Sanhedrin's private security squad to arrest Him. When they declared they were looking for Him, Jesus spoke three simple words, "I am He." At these words, the arresting party fell back away from Him. It was a hint - a small revelation of the hidden power of God. Jesus was reminding them of His sovereignty. They were not there to "take" Him. He was giving His life willingly. Peter, with his typical zeal, wasn't ready to go meekly. He drew his sword and just missed beheading a guard, settling for an ear. Jesus, calmly healed the ear. "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" He said in rebuke to Peter.

Jesus chose love over power. Being who He is, He was fully able to destroy those who came to arrest Him, but He chose to drink the cup that He was given. He did it to receive His reward - us! Consider Judas standing with his new Sanhedrin buddies, trying to force Jesus to take up the sword. If anyone deserved the justice and wrath of the King it was Judas. Yet Jesus let him go. Paul wrote in Romans that, "It's rare for someone to risk their life for a friend, but God demonstrated love by dying for us when we were still His enemies!" (Romans 5:7-8) Jesus embodied this by going to the cross and dying for us - and for Judas too.

The Power of Sacrifice

Our King chose the form of a servant, made Himself nothing, and became obedient to a humiliating death on a cross (Philippians 2:5-8).

They put a crown of cruel thorns on Jesus' head and pounded it in for effect. They put a purple robe on His back. They mocked Him and spit on Him while pulling out His beard. They hung a mocking sign on the cross that said, "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews". They forced Him to carry His throne, a rough-hewn cross, up to the execution grounds. They were intent on humiliating Him with this spurious claim of royalty. All these vestiges of kingship - a crown of thorns, a bloody robe, a sarcastic sign - were intended to show how ridiculous and absurd was His claim to kingship. A truly powerful king would not submit to suffering.

Yet each of these tokens, intended to mock Him, have survived for centuries as symbols of the suffering savior king. He tried to tell His disciples that the kingdom is not based on conquering. It is based on serving. The greatest must become the least - and now He was showing them. The King of Heaven chose the symbols of His office  dipped in His own shed blood - a crown, a robe, and a cross.

The Power of Redemption

Our King conquered Hell, death and sin.

The resurrection on the third day was Jesus' ultimate message of Kingship. A king can love and suffer and sacrifice ... and conquer! Jesus demonstrated irrefutably that death, hell, and sin were powerless before His majesty. He is king absolute! He is no petty despot out to conquer Rome or re-establish some earthly kingdom. No! He is king over each and every individual heart. The only remaining question is will you bow before Him in surrender? (Phillipians 2:3-9).


Like the Jews of Jerusalem we are often a victim of our own expectations. We think Jesus comes to us in power - to right our wrongs, fix our lives and order the world around us to our liking. Instead He comes in love. He is present to know us, and to be known by us. We sometimes think Jesus is focused on justice, when He's really offering grace and mercy. He brings His righteousness to us because He knows our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). He brings peace to our situation because He has conquered the grave.

Sometimes we are so desperate for God to move in the way we want, we forget that His ways are not our ways. He brings His peace - and we can't fully understand it. But we can rest in it.

Discussion Questions

1. When you think of Jesus acting like a King - do you see Him serving or conquering? What kind of King is Jesus to you?

2. What does it mean that Jesus conquered death?

3. Have you bowed before the King? If you have never truly surrendered to Jesus, be brave and ask your group members to pray with you!


As you contemplate the death and resurrection of Jesus this week, consider whether you are walking in the peace He brings through His victory over sin and death. Are you resting in the work of the cross?

King of Peace