Who is this King of Glory? This is the King for you and me.
Lift up your heads, O you gates;
Be lifted up, you ancient doors,
That the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
Riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey?
Who is this King, whose praises the children sing,
whose great deeds his disciples acclaim?
The LORD strong and mighty,
The LORD mighty in battle.
But there is no battle. There is no fight…. at least in their eyes.
If that is the kind of King he is, mighty in battle, why then does he ride on in lowly pomp to die? Why then does he bow his meek head to mortal pain?
This is not the kind of king they want, a king who hangs derelict on a tree, conquered by those from whom they sought to be free, a dead king who no longer would provide their free bread and health care.
Is this your King, too?
If he is the King strong and mighty, then why do you struggle to get through the day in a job that drains you emotionally, with a child whose mental disorder takes everything in you to be patient and loving, with a spouse who is not so supportive, with a body that cries out in pain everyday, with grief in your heart over a loss that still puts you on the verge of tears… where is this King strong and mighty for me? Take your power and reign for me.
My friend, listen to the rest of the song:
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp, ride on to die.
O Christ, your triumphs now begin
O’er captive death and conquered sin.
This is your King, the King who will do for you what you need. What you need, my dear friend, is for him to ride on and die. There at the cross you see him strong in power and might. For there he becomes familiar with your pain, he becomes your pain. Yes, he, the King, becomes your sin. There he appears weak and defeated on the cross but is strong and mighty because he, and he alone, can do this for you: he battles with your sin and mine, and becoming our sin, conquers it and puts it to death, forever. What other king can accomplish that? Only the King of Glory who hides his glory in his death.
And speaking of death: Where O death, is your victory? Where O death, is your sting? You are silent, death. You have no voice in my life. The King has destroyed your power. The King broke the chains you had wrapped around his lifeless corpse. He lives! He lives for me! He lives for you, friend. This is the King you have: a King who lives to give you life now and forever.
When you struggle with life, when you wonder, “Why is he not using his power for me?” Look! Stand on the mount east of Jerusalem and see the parade going down the hill toward the city gate. Hear the children praise him! See the palm branches waving! Listen to his disciples retell the great things he has done! Watch! He goes to the city for you, to suffer for you, to die for you, to rise for you. That’s your King using his power to give you life, to give you hope, to give you himself.
So Jesus… ride on, ride on in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die…. for me.
Bow your meek head to mortal pain… for me,
Then, take, O Christ, your power and reign… for me.
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You can listen to our latest episode here. You can find our latest installment in the Wingin’ It series on Luther here.