The coronation of King Charles III will take place on this Saturday (6th May 2023). No doubt this will be a historic occasion. Especially when the last coronation occurred in 1953 with Queen Elizabeth II. The coronation of Charles III will be marked by an altered service representing the different faiths, cultures, and communities that now exist in the United Kingdom. The coronation will also be marked by street parties, and encouragement for community services and volunteers. Yet, as momentous as this event may be, I expect it will have a minimal impact on most people. Overall, life will continue as it has.
Yet not all coronations are marked by mere formality. There is one coronation that has a profound impact on how we live now in our day-to-day lives. Of course, I’m talking about the coronation of King Jesus.
Perhaps it’s not common to think of Jesus as being coronated. But, when we carefully consider the Scriptures, it is indeed appropriate to think about Jesus in terms of being coronated. Jesus’ coronation has a direct impact on our relationships with the world, God, and other people in everyday life. Three key passages bear this out – Daniel 7:13–14; Revelation 5:1–14; and Philippians 2:5–11.
Our Relationship with the World (Daniel 7:13–14)
Daniel is in a situation where he is dislocated from his home nation, Israel. Babylon had razed Israel and carted the remaining population back to Babylon (modern day Iran). Since then, Daniel has been given a new name, a new culture, and a new government to serve. Yet, this would only be a short time as the Babylonian Empire gave way to the Medes which Daniel then served. So, it’s not that surprising that Daniel had prophetic visions of one oppressive empire rising up after another, taking up where the previous had left, although in different ways (7:1–8).
What is of a surprise is his vision of God (referred to as the “Ancient of Days”) presented with immense power and glory and being served by a very large multitude (vv. 9–10). God sits in judgment of the nations (represented as beasts) where one of them is destroyed and the remaining beasts are deprived of their power (vv. 11–12). In place of the beasts, Daniel sees another figure resembling the son of man, which is a title that Jesus applies to himself (John 6:53; 9:35, 37). This son of man figure is then given dominion, glory and a kingdom which will be everlasting and will never be destroyed (Dan 7:14).
We thus see the coronation of Jesus as the Son of Man. A time is coming when there will be an end to nations taking over nations, and kingdoms rising up against kingdoms. There will also be an end to the regime of sin. There will be one kingdom, and all peoples, nations and languages will serve him.
Therefore, the coronation of Jesus means we should not be putting our hope in nations, monarchs, or one brand of politics over another. Neither should we despair when governments become despotic. These things come for a while, then they go. Instead, we should be putting our hope in the one who has an everlasting kingdom and be looking to serve him.
Our Relationship with God (Revelation 5:1–14)
John has a vision of heaven where he sees God sitting on his throne holding a sealed scroll representing his plans and purposes (Rev 5:1). An angel with a loud voice asks, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” (v. 2). At which point John begins to weep because there was no one to be found who could open the scroll (vv. 3–4). Without someone to open the sealed scroll, God’s plans and purposes would not be fulfilled.
But then John is told of a lion from the tribe of Judah who is able to open the sealed scroll, meaning that this figure is able to fulfil the plans and purposes of God (v. 5). Yet, when John looks, he sees a lamb as though it had been slain (v. 6). This is a reference to Jesus who is portrayed elsewhere as a sacrificial lamb (John 1:29, 36; 1 Pet 1:19). It is Jesus who is able to take the sealed scroll from God and open it (Rev 5:7). It is Jesus who is able to fulfil God’s plans and purposes.
Jesus then becomes the object of worship. Firstly, by the twenty-four elders in heaven (v. 8). They recognise that Jesus is able to fulfil God’s plans and purposes because of his work on the cross. Jesus ransomed those from every tribe, language, people, and nation who were under the regime of sin and made then into a kingdom of priests for God (vv. 9–10).
Secondly, by the rest of the creatures in heaven who ascribe to him power, wealth, wisdom, might, honour, glory, and blessing (vv. 11–12). Thirdly, by every creature whether in heaven or on earth who ascribe similarly blessing, glory and honour (v. 13), which is then affirmed in heaven with a hearty “amen!” (v. 14).
The coronation of Jesus means God’s plans and purpose will be fulfilled. Chief among which is to have fellowship with God as a kingdom of priests. Therefore, we should give thanks and praise to Jesus for having done this for us. Our concern should be his blessing, his honour, and his glory rather than our own. Our focus should be Jesus rather than ourselves. We should be looking to reflect who Jesus is and what he has done for us in our very being.
Our Relationship with Other People (Philippians 2:5–11)
Paul reflects on Jesus’ coronation and uses it as a basis for how believers are to relate to one another. Paul recognises that God has highly exalted Jesus and has given him the highest name (v. 9). That is, Jesus outranks everyone. This is why every knee may bow and every tongue confess Jesus’ lordship unto God’s glory (v. 10).
Yet, the reason for Jesus receiving such a high and lofty position is because of what he had done. Jesus did not have concern for his divinity – as someone who is rightfully worshipped (vv. 6–7). Rather, he took the role of a servant and became obedient even if it meant crucifixion (v. 8). Paul thus portrays Jesus’ coronation as being via the route of sacrifice.
If we are going to honour and glorify the kind of king Jesus is, we need to reflect the same values that can be found in Jesus. We can reflect these values by not thinking about ourselves, but rather think of others (v. 3). We are to think of others as having a greater significance than ourselves. This can be challenging in a culture that highly prizes ability, and those who lack ability are readily seen as less significant. Yet, these are included in the people who we are to perceive as having a greater significance, and to consider their interests and concerns before our own (v. 4). This is what Jesus did for us so we can have fellowship with God.
Jesus’ coronation as king is more than a mere formality. Jesus’ coronation is a spiritual reality which has a profound impact on how we see ourselves in relation to the world, God, and each other. If the coronation of Charles III is to be marked, then Jesus’ coronation should be all the more remembered as we reflect on the hope we have in his everlasting kingdom, the fellowship we have with him as his kingdom of priests, and the opportunities we have to reflect who Jesus is in our day-to-day lives. Under King Jesus, life cannot continue as it has.