Coronations are cool events. Great Britain is gearing up for one this spring. Charles the III has followed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II and was declared King right after his mom’s death. But his coronation as a monarch is another matter. Borrowing heavily from ancient rituals, that regal display will take place on May 6th.
The ceremony will have several parts to it. They will place a crown on his head symbolizing his power over his subjects. They will anoint him with oil and present him with gifts that symbolize his royal status (think swords and such). He will make some public vows to care for his people and the event in Westminster Abbey will conclude with the people giving him acts of homage (things like bowing, curtseying, shouting “Long Live the King”).
Do you realize that there are some 43 countries in the world today that have some kind of royal leadership? Some are constitutional monarchs (like Great Britain), others are absolute in nature (and often those guys aren’t attuned to the needs of their people).
When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He was a different kind of king. Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and as He entered the city, the people began to honor Him as a conquering hero. They spread their coats and palm branches along His path and shouted “Hosanna, blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…”
Clearly, they wanted to crown Him King over Rome and all their other enemies. They wanted a ruler who was mighty and could overpower those who had enslaved Israel. They wanted a sovereign who could solve problems, demand retribution from the bad guys and enforce the “new” rules. They wanted a King who carried a sword and knew how to use it.
But instead, they got a King who brings peace, a monarch who directs with authority but has zealous goodwill for His people, a sovereign whose kingdom is “now but not yet.”
As we celebrated Easter last week, we really didn’t get to “see” King Jesus. It is true that Jesus is a warrior and from time to time displays His mighty power, but it is always on His timetable. He does not jump to our tune; He arranges the events of life around His will. Shouting and waving palm branches won’t make Him do it our way.
In a sense, His kingdom has come. Christ was born, lived a sinless life, offered Himself for our sin and rose from the dead. But on the other hand, He has not yet set up His kingdom. We haven’t had the coronation. As we acknowledge that His reign is not yet supreme, we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
As we await His coronation, we echo the words of the apostle John, “Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.” We are ready to crown you!