Worship Helps for Christ the King

Artwork: Crucifixion
Artist: Tintoretto

Worship Theme: Murderous criminals usually do not relax in lush gardens with kings. But King Jesus told the suddenly repentant man on the cross next to him: “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” What royalty! What grace!

Old Testament: Genesis 49:8-12
"Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you. 9 You are a lion's cub, O Judah; you return from the prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness-- who dares to rouse him? 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. 11 He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

1. What two things will not depart from the Judah and his tribe until the promised Savior comes? (See 49:10.)

2. Judah will not have to chase here and there. The tribe will settle down in peace, Jacob prophesies. How prosperous will the tribe be? (See 49:11–12.)

Epistle: Colossians 1:13-20
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

3. To which kingdom did we once belong?

4. What kind of kingdom are we in now? (See 1:14-14.)

5. In what two areas is Jesus clearly, totally supreme? (See verses 15–17, and verses 18–20.)

Gospel: Luke 23:35-43
The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One." 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself." 38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong." 42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

6. One criminal hurled insults at Jesus. How were his words horribly ironic? (See 23:39.)

7. How long will it take for you to get to paradise when you die? (See 23:43.)

1. Jacob prophesies that the royal scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff. (That is, the situation will not be like the modern British monarchy, which has royal honors but does not have the power that the Prime Minister has. Real royal rule will remain.)

2. The tribe will be so prosperous that it will do something staggering: wash its garments in wine, not water. Think: Even greater riches, eternal riches of God’s grace, are ours in Christ.

3. We used to be under the dominion of darkness. Satan and his forces dominated our hearts. Hell and its pitch-dark fires were our only destination.

4. Then God rescued us and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. He forgave all our sins in Christ by bringing us to trust in him.

5. Jesus is supreme in creating and supreme in redeeming. The Father made all things through him, and in him all things still hold together. (All things!) Through Jesus and his blood God also made peace with all his rebellious creatures.

6. Ironically, that criminal recognized Jesus as God’s anointed King, the Christ. He did not trust in Jesus to be his substitute under God’s judgment though. He railed at Christ for not saving him. Yet Jesus was suffering and dying to save him at that very moment.

7. The moment you die, you will in paradise due to Jesus’ death in your place. Even better: you will be with King Jesus in paradise. Trust his promise totally!

Putting your faith into action
An interesting teaching of the Bible is that Christ is the King. He is the King of the world, the church, and heaven. When we bring our offerings to church we are acknowledging that Jesus is the King of the world. He is to get all the credit that we are able to have money to share with his church. He is the King of the church on earth and we want to use our money to finance his church. He is the King of heaven. Since we are absolutely confident we are going to live forever with him, we want to make sure that what we leave behind is also used for the forward advancement of his kingdom.

A reading from the Book of Concord for the Last Sunday of the Church Year
Our wise spirits with their great art and wisdom cry, “How can bread and wine forgive sins or strengthen faith?”  They know that we do not say this about bread and wine.   But we speak about the bread and wine that is Christ’s body and blood and has the words attached to it.  That, we say, is truly the treasure—and nothing else—through which such forgiveness is gained.  Now the only way this treasure is passed along and made our very own is in the words “Given … and shed for you.”  For in the words you have both truths, that it is Christ’s body and blood, and that it is yours as a treasure and gift.  Now Christ’s body can never be an unfruitful, empty thing that does or profits nothing. Yet, no matter how great the treasure is in itself, it must be included in the Word and administered to us.  Otherwise we would never be able to know or seek it.

It is useless talk when they say that Christ’s body and blood are not given and shed for us in the Lord’s Supper, so we could not have forgiveness of sins in the Sacrament.  Although the work is done and the forgiveness of sins is secured by the cross, it cannot come to us in any other way than through the Word. We know that such a thing was accomplished to be given to us, by preaching the oral Word. How do they know or make the forgiveness their own, unless they believe the Gospel? – Large Catechism, Part V, Sacrament of the Altar (paragraph 28-31)

Hymns: 579; 392; 277; 373; 351; 370

1  All hail the pow’r of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem And crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem And crown him Lord of all.

2  Hail him, ye heirs of David’s line, Whom David Lord did call,
The God incarnate, Man divine, And crown him Lord of all.
The God incarnate, Man divine, And crown him Lord of all.

3  Sinners whose love can ne’er forget The wormwood and the gall,
Go, spread your trophies at his feet And crown him Lord of all.
Go, spread your trophies at his feet And crown him Lord of all.

4  Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe On this terrestrial ball
To him all majesty ascribe And crown him Lord of all.
To him all majesty ascribe And crown him Lord of all.

5  Oh, that with yonder sacred throng We at his feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song And crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song And crown him Lord of all.

Text: Edward Perronet, 1726–92, st. 1-3, abr., alt.; A Selection of Hymns, London, 1787, st. 4-5, alt.


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