Jesus's Role as a future King

 

The men who killed Jesus, the Jewish leaders, understood his claim to be a king of Israel. They said, “Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross” (1) (Mark 15:32) as he was dying on the crucifixion stake, or cross. Also, the gospel of John says that Jesus’s followers wanted to force Jesus to be a king during his life (2) (John 6:15), since they understood that his future role was to be a king.

Jesus’s role of king was given to him at birth, like his Saviour role was. The angel who spoke to Mary also told her that Jesus “…shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (3) (Luke 2:32,33).  Jesus will be the Christ, reigning on the throne of David as a king. King David was the second king of Israel, after Saul. David’s line became the royal family of Judah. The Old Testament shows how the Israelite kingdoms were eventually destroyed by enemy nations, which God sent because Israel had forsaken His ways. But this kingdom of Israel will be restored (4) (Acts 1:6).  At the trial before Jesus’s crucifixion, the Jewish high priest asked Jesus if he was the Christ (5) (Mathew 26:63).  Jesus agreed and then elaborated what “the Christ” means. He said, “Hereafter ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (6) Mathew 26:64).  Jesus will come again from heaven, where he ascended after being resurrected, or raised from the dead.

The Old Testament records many other prophecies about Christ as a king ruling on David’s throne over a restored kingdom of Israel. Two examples come from the psalms:

 

  1. “The LORD swore to David a sure oath [or promise] from which he will not turn back: one of the sons of your body I will set on your throne” (7) (Psalm 132:11)

This verse promises that David would have a descendant that would reign on his throne. The verse does not identify the son’s identity. However, the apostle Peter uses this verse in relation to Jesus (8) (Acts 2:30).

  2. “I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring [descendant] shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me” (9) (Psalm 89:34-36)

God promised David a descendant who will live forever, and that David’s throne will last forever.