a come-from-behind-story of the King

Once upon a time, there was a King. Everything the King did was good. The people in his kingdom adored him and followed him as their King. The King found time to spend with each person in his kingdom. He loved everybody no matter what they were like. He had but one rule… This rule was put in place so that his people would have life. If they violated this rule, they would suffer the consequences—death. The choice was theirs.

One day, an enemy of the King snuck into the kingdom. He deceived the people of the kingdom by saying that they would not die if they disobeyed the one rule. They believed this cleverly disguised enemy of the King. The people broke the one rule. They chose death, not life.

How do you think the King felt when he found out that the people he loved disobeyed the one rule?

Probably sad.
Maybe angry.
Perhaps bummed.

He loved his people and did not want them to experience death. But the King was true to his word. The people violated the one rule and so they must suffer the consequences of their actions. They were banished from the King’s kingdom and died.

It may sound like the King was harsh on his people, but in fact he was quite gracious. He could have just abandoned the people who betrayed his love, left them to fend for themselves outside his beautiful and loving kingdom. But he didn’t “leave” them. He stuck by them. In fact, the King began working on a master plan to bring his banished people back into his loving and beautiful kingdom.

It looked like this: choose one person, who would make more chosen persons, who would in turn make even more chosen persons, and later on down the line would have lots of chosen persons; the King then promised himself to these “chosen persons”; the King said: ‘Chosen Persons! I am going to be with you. I will be your King and you will be my beloved chosen persons! I am going to use you to show all the persons of the entire world what my kingdom is like. And when you show all the persons of the world my kingdom, you will be actually bringing back the banished people to the beautiful and loving kingdom’.

However, the more the King tried to convince the chosen persons he chose to show the world his kingdom, the more the chosen persons messed up and chose death, not life. Over and over again, the King used messengers and special people he sent to tell his chosen persons of his wonderful kingdom and to warn them of the consequences of their continued bad living. And each and every time, the chosen persons chose not to listen to the King, but to the cleverly disguised enemy of the King. It got so bad that the King had no choice but to banish the chosen persons from the kingdom that was supposed to like the beautiful and loving kingdom. Double banishment!

How do you think the King felt when he had to banish his chosen persons?

Probably sad.
Maybe angry.
Perhaps bummed.

He loved his chosen persons and did not want them to experience death. But the King was true to this word. The chosen persons were not showing the people of the world what the real, beautiful and loving kingdom of the King was like.

It may sound like the King was harsh on his chosen persons, but in fact he was quite gracious. He could have abandoned the chosen persons who betrayed his love, left them to fend for themselves outside of his beautiful and loving kingdom. But he didn’t “leave” them. He stuck by them. In fact, the King had already been working on a master plan to bring back his banished chosen people into his loving and beautiful kingdom.

The King’s master plan was unlike anything that anyone expected. The King sent a very, very special messenger to tell his banished chosen persons about what the King really wanted and how the King really wanted his chosen persons to be. The King thought that his chosen persons would graciously accept and heed the message that this very, very special messenger brought. Sadly, the chosen persons did not. In fact, the chosen persons, along with the cleverly disguised enemy of the King, took this very, very special messenger and had him killed.

How do you think the King felt when his banished chosen persons killed his very, very special messenger?

Extremely sad.
Maybe a little angry.
Perhaps totally bummed.

He loved his very, very special messenger and did not want him to experience death. You see, this very, very special messenger was the King’s only son—the Prince. And the chosen persons took the life of the Prince of the King. The chosen persons gave to the Prince what they experienced in being outside of the beautiful and loving kingdom—death.

It would seem that the loving and gracious intentions of the King were continually thwarted by the people he loved so dearly. But things are not always as they seem. You see, the King had not been thwarted by the people he loved. He actually thwarted them. He turned them. He captured them from death… and created a highway to life in the original beautiful and loving kingdom. This highway was paved by the King’s very, very special messenger—the Prince. The Prince paved the way to the beautiful and loving kingdom because although he did really die… the Prince did not stay dead. In fact, the Prince came back to life. The Prince paved the way from death to life, undoing the banishment of the people of the king from the beautiful and loving kingdom.

How do you think the King felt when his only son came back to life?

Extremely happy.
Maybe a little dancing.
Perhaps totally joyfully throwing a party!

The King loved his son. And the King loved his people. A highway from death to life in the name of the King’s son, the Prince, was made for the people he loved to enter back into the beautiful and loving kingdom. All the people have to do is walk the highway of the King – the King’s Highway.

This story was an excerpt from a sermon I preached a number of years ago entitled Don’t Miss The Point of it All.

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