Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rise of the King

Note: This is a continuation of  posts from students in my Advanced Preaching course at Kentucky Christian University.  I (and they) would appreciate your feedback.

Guest author: Bobby Paver (@Hydrofist2791)

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his Lord of the Rings never intending it to be read as an allegory. He set out to write a good story and would deny whenever others accused the story of being allegorical. Interestingly enough though he did not mean to use Christian symbolism his worldview came through.

The character in which best represents this to me is Tolkien’s great king, Aragorn. Aragorn son of Arathorn is the exiled heir to the thrown of Gondor. During Aragorn’s time all of Middle Earth was under the threat of a great peril. The Dark Lord Sauron sought to destroy the world of man. In this threat man needed a king to unite them. They needed a hero to lead them into not just war but victory. Aragorn was this king. But in this story Aragorn does not begin with a crown or a thrown. In fact, Aragorn is a lowly Ranger. He seeks only the security of others and no glory for himself. Tolkien even describes Aragorn as being someone that no one would be attracted to. For the duration of Tolkien’s story, with great difficulty, Aragorn strives toward his kingship. 

Jesus has always been and always will be the king of all creation. He was when God was speaking creation into existence, when he was dying on the cross, and even now he rules over everything. But there were times the divinity of God could be questioned. The story of Jesus’ incarnation on this Earth didn’t begin with a crown. Jesus was not born in a royal palace. He wasn’t even born in a home. The king of the entire universe was born in a barn with pigs and sheep and cattle around him. This couldn’t have been a beautiful moment. Think about the smell alone. My Uncle owns a farm and I’ve gotten a chance to be on it a few times. They don’t smell great and are not the ideal place for a woman to deliver a baby. Regardless, this is where Jesus, king of kings, was born.

In addition, Jesus did not live his life like a king; at least not like a king of the this world. He chose to follow his father’s craft and become a carpenter for most of his life. When he began his ministry he made sure that his followers knew that he was not a political machine trying to rise to the top. He was the messiah that they had been promised and he would rule over all but not in the way they thought he would. This is man whoe washed his own followers feet.

Perhaps the culmination of Jesus’ humble life was his death on the cross. The perfect and sinless man who came from heaven died a criminals death on the cross. From birth to death Jesus assumed a low position on Earth.

However, three days after Jesus dies he rises again and begins a new way of living for everyone. His resurrection defeats death itself and is the very thing that gives us life now. 

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