In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Recently we’ve been looking at how Christ shows he is a king. We saw that Christ’s kingship is demonstrated by his calling a people for him to rule over and by giving his people officers, laws, grace, rewards, corrections and help. This week I want to show that Jesus is a king because he restrains the enemies of his people.
Leaders of nations are always called upon to restrain enemies. A leader that allows enemies to trample all over his people is not fit to be their leader.
Thus, Jesus shows his kingship by restraining and overcoming the enemies of his people.
The prophecy of Psalm 110 says the Messiah will fight the enemy: ‘The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head’ (Psalm 110:1-7).
The New Testament also predicts that Jesus will defeat his enemies: ‘Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death’ (1 Corinthians 15:24-26).
And wonderfully we have seen that Jesus has started to defeat his enemies, including that great enemy called ‘death’. By his resurrection Jesus has demonstrated that he has power over death. And if we trust in Christ’s death for our sins, we too will triumph over death on judgement day. Paul says: ‘When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory”’ (1 Corinthians 15:54).
Have you trusted in Christ so that he is your king and defeats your enemies, including death itself?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.