The full name for the Feast of Christ the King is “Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe.” What a name!
One thing that is striking about it is how strange it sounds to modern ears. He’s the “King”? And “of the Universe”?
But that shouldn’t surprise us.
As Scripture says,
“God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Cor. 1:27)
Here are six truths illuminated by the fact that Christ is the King of the Universe the world just can’t understand:
1. Jesus is the King
There’s only one King and it’s Jesus. The universe is ultimately not a democracy. There is no parliament or committee. Jesus is the sole absolute ruler. This has some implications:
2. Jesus is the King of everyone, not just Christians
Notice that Jesus is King of the universe, not simply the Church or all Christians. Whether a person worships Jesus or not, or even believes he exists, he is their King. Other religions or worldviews that deny this are not simply different but are wrong.
As Scripture says, Jesus has “the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11)
3. Jesus surpasses our allegiances to all earthly powers
As the King of the Universe, Jesus is higher than all earthly powers. That includes the most powerful and highest temporal rulers of our lands. Christians are called to humbly honor and obey their rulers – unless they contradict the laws of Christ. That’s why the Church is often one of martyrs.
As Saint Thomas More famously said before he was executed for refusing to falsely acknowledge King Henry VIII as the supreme head of the Church in England,
“I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”
4. Denying Christ’s Kingship is fatal to any worldview
If Jesus is the King of the Universe, above all other powers, then this is one of the most important facts about the world. Any worldview, secular or religious, that denies it will be wrong at its foundation and will inevitably lead to all sorts of further errors.
5. We are not our own
If Jesus is King of the Universe, then not only are temporal rulers subject to him, but so are our individual wills. We do not own ourselves. We cannot just “do what we want.” Instead, we must submit our whole lives to his service and glory.
As Scripture says,
“You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20)
6. The fact that Jesus is King is good news!
This might be the hardest thing of all for the world to understand.
The fact that Jesus is the King, that temporal powers are subject to him, and that we are all called to submit our hearts and wills to him – all of this is extremely good news! This is because Jesus is love itself. He is the good. By submitting ourselves to him, we are pursuing the highest good we possibly can.