In ancient Israel, potential kings took part in a three-stage pattern of accession before they finally and permanently took the throne. These three stages included: (1) an official declaration of recognition, often involving an anointing by a prophet; (2) a demonstration of worthiness, often involving the courageous vanquishing of an enemy; and (3) a public coronation, often involving the reading or singing of an enthronement psalm. Coronations were elaborate affairs, typically consisting of much pageantry and ceremonial flourishes, such as a special procession, meal, crown, armband, sash, scepter, kiss, and second anointing. Additionally, there was a special elevated platform and the public mounting of the throne for the first time. Many of these elements are seen throughout the period of the Old Testament kings.
In their presentation of Jesus Christ as king, the Gospel writers mimic this three-fold pattern. Jesus is anointed at his baptism by the Holy Spirit with his heavenly Father’s public approval. He then prevails over the ultimate enemy, Satan, by triumphing over his temptations in the wilderness. He then is enthroned on his cross, quoting Psalm 22 and mirroring the flourishes of the coronation ceremony, only in surprising and gruesome ways. That’s because Jesus is a different kind of king, and he brings a different kind of kingdom. As Paul wrote, “The kingdom of God…is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Indeed, Jesus is the king of the universe whose realm is the human heart. That’s why the subjects in his kingdom seek to align their lives with his will and ways.
Contact This New Life directly for the sermon audio file.