The King is dead! This is the King’s gift to you: the crucified King takes all of your sin.
The one called “King of the Jews” hangs naked on cross. He is bloodied. He is bruised. He is beaten and scarred. What hangs upon that cross is revolting. Naseauting. Ugly.
In the crucified King, we see our own, true self. What hangs upon that cross is your sin and your selfishness.
What hangs upon that cross is our wretched hearts. Our coveting. Our conniving. Our scheming.
What hangs upon that cross is our gossip. Our manipulations. Our assassination attempts of reputation.
Upon that cross are all the times we lie, steal, and cheat; all the times we tell God that he doesn’t provide enough.
Upon that cross is our lust, our molestation, our dreams of twisted fantasies, pornography. Our resent of spouses, the ways we use and abuse marriage. Divorce. Cohabitation. Adultery.
Upon that cross is murder. Stabs in the back. Harm, self-harm, failure to prevent harm. Suicide. Alcohol. Drugs. Addiction.
There hang hatred of parents, dishonor of authority, our attempts to destroy the reputation of our leaders.
There hang all the times we fail to make church a priority. All the times we have better things to do than to treasure God’s Word.
There hang all the times we make a mockery of God’s Name by our lips and by our character.
There hang all our doubts and all our failures to fear, love, trust God above all things.
God the Father takes all sins of the world, the darkness of all our pasts, all the skeletons in our closets, all our anger at how wrong and terrible the world is, all abuse and tragedy, he takes it all…
and he takes it all out on his Son.
The King is dead! This is the King’s gift to you: your sins are pardoned.
Jesus takes all the sin of the world so that he himself is the greatest sinner in history.
His wounds from the cross were not the worst part of his suffering. No, it was his separation from God for you. It was your sin that made him suffer.
He is the God King who was separated from God for you. The word for being in a state of separation from God is hell.
Upon the cross, your King suffers your hell for you.
Upon the cross, your King decrees for sinners the highest pardon.
Because of your crucified King, nothing stops you from coming before your God with confidence.
The King died to pardon all sins, all doubts, and all the treasons of his people.
Your sins have been placed in the tomb of Jesus. Your sins have been buried there forever. For sins, this tomb is escape-proof. And sins don’t rise from the dead.
That means, for the Christian, all pangs of guilt are fake news from the devil himself. God’s disgust with your sin is forever buried in the tomb of Jesus.
The Christian may feel disappointment when they encounter sin, but the scandal of the cross is that the Christian remains forgiven even in the midst of commiting sin.
Guilt that condemns, damns, and separates from God has been forever vanquished by the cross of the King.
The King is dead! This is the King’s gift to you: it is by the cross that you see your true king.
King Jesus was separated from the Father in order to unite you to Father.
King Jesus was cut off from the Creator so that you again are a royal subject of your Creator.
King Jesus came to offer himself on the cross for you. It was his divine mission. He was born into a manger for this very reason. His highest act as King was to die to free you.
Therefore, the way of the Christian is no longer by being good enough, being sincere enough, or feeling it enough. It isn’t by doing the right things, saying the right things, thinking the right things. It isn’t by avoiding sin, by avoiding failure, by avoiding doubt. It isn’t by obligation, by act, or by failure to act.
The way of the Christian is in the shadow of the cross. Nothing that you do or don’t do will get you any closer to God than the cross of your King already has.
Whatever is his is yours and whatever he is we you will become.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
Baptism takes you into the death of your King. Baptism buries you in Christ and binds you to Him and to His resurrection.
This is the King’s gift to you. The King is dead!
…Long live the King!