And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1:31-33
Lead Me To Calvary is one of my favorite gospel hymns. The thrust of the song is complete submission to Christ as king and the willingness to direct all glory to Him. Sadly, I have found it much easier to sing this song than to apply it. The truth is, despite my sincere desire to submit to my king always, I fail more often than I care to discuss. Fortunately, I am not the only one, and God’s grace is powerful enough to deliver me from my failings as His goodness leads me to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Paul lamented his inner conflict between the will to do his king’s bidding and the reality of his failures to do so in Romans 7:13-23. So painful was the conflict, he raised the question, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). If a man of Paul’s stature in the New Testament struggled with temptation, I would be a fool to think I could ever be exempted (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:12).
The good news is Paul’s story did not end at verse 24. In Romans 7:25, Paul answered his question with the comforting statement, “I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” The answer to our sin problem was and forever will be, Jesus! The power of His once for all sacrifice is that His blood can bridge the gap between the perfection we wish we could achieve and our oft-repeated failures. In view of this truth, the book of Hebrews details, in no uncertain terms, the reasons Jesus should be crowned king of our lives.
In Hebrews 1, the author sets forth the reality that Jesus is superior to the prophets of old as well as the angels. This would undoubtedly strike a chord with the Jewish Christians to whom he wrote because they understood God’s powerful use of the prophets and the angels throughout the Old Covenant. Jesus’ supremacy is established based on His being first, the eternal creator and sustainer of the cosmos (Hebrews 1:2-3, 10-12), second, the complete revelation of the nature of God (Hebrews 1:3), and finally, the anointed One seated at the right hand of God ruling in righteousness (Hebrews 1:4, 8-9). The thrust of the chapter is that He is the preeminent One making Him worthy of our allegiance.
The concept of complete, willful submission to another is difficult for most people. It is especially difficult for Westerners such as myself due to the system of governance to which I am accustomed. In our American way of things, I have some degree of influence over how I am governed. This is not the case in the kingdom of Christ. His kingdom is a pure monarchy. He is the King, and those who choose to become His subjects are just that, His subjects. He never forces His will on us in this life, but if we reject His rule, He will ultimately have to reject us (cf. Hebrews 5:9; 10:26-31).
The beauty of His reign, however, should remove the burden of submission to His will. After all, He gave Himself to redeem us from our sins (Hebrews 2:14; 9:27-28; 10:5-10). Unlike so many monarchies in history, the reign of the Christ is one of mercy and kindness towards His subjects. Indeed, everything He has done and still does is for our own good (Hebrews 12:2-3, 7-11). With such a benevolent King, it should be our pleasure to serve Him. Is He King of your life? If not, why not crown Him so?
Elizabethton Church of Christ