The OTHER Coronation to Which
You and King Charles III Are Invited
The official coronation date for King Charles III has been set for May 6, 2023. This allows for a proper period of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth before the new ruler officially takes center stage.
However, everyone is already atwitter (“atwitter”—that’s a British term!) about the upcoming investiture of the new sovereign of England.
This leads me to ask: As we witness the age-old traditions of the British monarchy play out their extravagant pomp once again, don’t you think that as Christians gather every Sunday, we should be similarly enthralled as we rejoice in the infinitely more steadfast, life-giving, cosmic-healing, God-exalting, all-redeeming reign of JESUS, the KING OF KINGS?
I ask this because the truth is there’s ANOTHER coronation celebration going on every day—to which you and King Charles III are invited!
Do you hear those lively festivities? Listen to the voices of a countless multitude singing praises reflective of this classic hymn: “Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon his Throne. . . . Awake, my soul, and sing of him who died for Thee, and hail him as thy matchless King through all eternity.”
Such praises must keep rising because, as our Lord Jesus Christ resides on the throne of heaven, his saving reign is increasingly pervading everything that matters everywhere—in our lives, churches, ministries, marriages, and workplaces, as well as in the destiny of peoples and nations.
More immediate for each of us: The implications of Christ’s coronation for our daily walk with him are far more profound and far more practical than most believers realize!
I want to explore with you how and why this is so.
Here’s a question I’ll bet no one has ever asked you.
Of the rich spectrum of biblical doctrines underpinning the historic Christian faith, which truth do you think may be the most widely neglected teaching within the contemporary Church—particularly among nearly three-quarters of a billion Christians who make up the global evangelical movement?
Could it be the Trinity? The Atonement? The Second Coming? The role of miracles? Moral purity?
Actually, believers are regularly exposed to all of these topics across the Body of Christ, Sunday after Sunday. But still, I suggest that something crucial is missing. What is it?
Here’s my answer: It’s the doctrine of the Ascension. It’s the historic moment of the greatest coronation in history!
Does that surprise you?
Consider this: Within most congregations, how often do you think members ever hear someone teach a message centered on the ascension of God’s Son? When was the last time your church set aside an entire Sunday to highlight the day Jesus was enthroned in heaven in the same way we celebrate Advent and Easter?
The New Testament makes it clear that the ascension and crowning of God’s Son loomed large over Jesus’ final days with his disciples and subsequently resurfaced as a prevalent theme in the book of Acts and also many of the epistles. Should it not, therefore, loom large for us? If there is a general neglect of this doctrine by our generation, should that not give us pause?
The delay that preceded Jesus’ coronation day
For a number of weeks following his resurrection, Jesus postponed his foretold departure to the Father. To his followers’ amazement, he remained on location, in resurrection glory, to invest an additional forty days equipping them for future ministry. Throughout those weeks, we’re told, he unpacked deeper teachings on God’s kingdom, which the disciples could now grasp in much clearer terms in the light of his sufferings and triumphs (Acts 1; Luke 24; John 20-21).
Foremost, through this unprecedented “super-seminar,” Jesus was preparing them to follow through on the world-shaking revelation they were about to witness on their “graduation” day, which was also to be his coronation day.
Coronation day! It was the day when all authority in heaven and on earth was bestowed on him in perpetuity, when the Father elevated him to the divine dais, enthroned before saints and angels as sovereign over all!
About the pomp and circumstance of that moment, Scripture records in Luke 24:
Acts 1 expands on that same celestial ceremony:
At the moment of that magnificent cosmic shift, the little band of Jesus’ followers was confronted with a dramatic discovery about the true nature and supreme nobleness of God’s exalted Son—insights they would handle and proclaim with unfading wonder and undaunted courage for the rest of their lives.
Decades later, for example, the apostle John, who had stood on the Mount of Olives years earlier and witnessed Jesus’ royal processional into heaven’s throne room, leaned on the drama of apocalyptic imagery to sum up the profound impact of that great day:
The one coronation that’s worthy of a worldwide celebration!
Today as God’s consecrated, crowned, universal Mediator, His Royal Majesty, the Lord Jesus Christ continues to actively exercise global jurisdiction. His reign is so extensive that we can be assured there’s not one square inch of planet earth—including the deepest secrets of every heart—over which he does not assert the claim: “I am King of kings and Lord of lords even there!”
Jesus ascended! All royal enthronements of history combined could never excel that one. It is the preeminent imperial investiture of all time.
Jesus ascended! That one event, in time and space and history, carried with it eternal consequences that the redeemed will never cease recounting in sheer amazement.
Jesus ascended! That one historical act formed the decisive turning point of the ages, pregnant with the promise of deliverance for all creation, to which our only valid response must be unbridled jubilation.
Jesus ascended! That one unrepeatable hour became the capstone of his ministry, the culmination of every other facet of his redeeming work that the Church salutes through liturgy, sacraments, holy days, and treasured rituals.
Jesus ascended! That one phenomenal transaction ratified and certified and magnified, once and for all, the man and the mission of the Son of God and established him over the Church as our everlasting Savior and Supreme Commander.
Jesus ascended! That one infinite initiative within the total enterprise of our eternal salvation confirms to all of us that the scope of his sway will forever dominate us and is irreplaceable, irreducible, and irreversible.
Jesus ascended! That one heavenly investiture forms the apex for which our Lord descended into our world in the first place. As Scripture recounts:
“[H]e also came down to the lower, earthly places.
The one who came down is the same one who went up.
He went up higher than all the heavens. He did it in order
to fill all creation” (Ephesians 4, emphasis added).
Note that phrase: “in order to fill all creation.” Right now, Jesus is filling the universe with his sovereignty, with his residency, with his activity—with his glory.
No other kind of ruler or president can make that claim—not King Charles III of Great Britain, not President Xi Jinping of China, not the fascist Vladimir Putin of Russia, not Pope Francis in the Vatican, nor any US president past, present, or future. No leader in the entire history of the world has even come close—or ever will.
One day soon, however, this reality will explode undeniably before all the universe for every eye to see. What a coronation celebration that will be! On that day, when our Lord Jesus Christ comes to fill even the darkest, deadliest corners of the universe with the glory of his manifested, majestic presence, all things above and below will give their full attention to the Ascension—forever. As the Bible clearly states:
So, why do we give so little attention to the Ascension?
Considering how vital Jesus’ coronation was and is to his redemptive mission, shouldn’t we take a harder look at why there is so little attention to the Ascension throughout the Church today?
How much longer will this CROWNING—this unprecedented, history-changing, reality-altering event that brings with it the most profound revelation of the Savior to date and exhibits what his advancing, saving kingdom is all about today—how much longer will it be allowed to remain virtually sidelined in our life together?
As you know, the worldwide Christian family enjoys memorializing other key junctures in God’s plan of redemption as we highlight various sacred high points in Jesus’ ministry. So, why should we not do the same with the Ascension?
We embellish Christmas with candlelight services to honor Jesus’ birth. At Lent, we fast to focus on his costly defeat of the flesh and the devil. His atoning death on the cross we solemnly recall on Good Friday. His triumphant destruction of death we designate with fanfare on Easter. His empowering of the Church for mission we observe as Pentecost Sunday. Should not a similarly pivotal event—King Jesus’ enthronement—at the very least get some form of an annual recital?
Can you imagine how your walk with Christ would suffer if the Church largely ignored the truths behind Advent, Epiphany, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and all the others?
What, then, do you think are the negative consequences of our long-term amnesia about how the redeeming work of our Lord Jesus Christ was ratified and consummated with his installment at God’s right hand to begin his proactive kingship among us, bringing with it everlasting consequences?
Thankfully, we don’t need to start from scratch. The Ascension appears on the religious calendars of some Church bodies (Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Lutherans). Technically, it is designated as a holy day observed seven weeks after Easter. Some traditions also set aside a Sunday later in the liturgical calendar called Christ the King Sunday to amplify how Jesus is Lord over all.
However, to ignite throughout the Church a wholesale, unified, global retention of the Ascension—giving his coronation the celebration it deserves—we need to do more than secure some “official” annual commemoration date.
Rather, an army of God’s people needs to find a wholehearted passion for restoring this neglected doctrine. We must reignite among the citizens of God’s kingdom a passion for Jesus’ ascension, similar to how British subjects everywhere right now are consumed daily with the issues that surround the British Royals.
More than that, we need to discover a passion for our King like we’d expect to have if just a moment ago we ourselves were standing on the slopes outside Jerusalem watching Jesus’ breathtaking dispatch to glory unfold before our very eyes—because it was that same passion that sent those witnesses from that inaugural scene toward the ends of the earth proclaiming, “Jesus is Lord!”
This is my call for an “ascension reformation”!
It’s time for coronation celebrations as a way of life! We need nothing less than a new kind of reformation to take place in all streams of the Body of Christ. We need an “ascension reformation”!
Of course, we must consistently maintain the centrality of the cross. We confess with Paul, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6).
However, the cross and the crown are now permanently inseparable, just as Hebrews 1 reminds us:
When someone is baptized by water into the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6), they also are raised with Christ to sit with him in the realms of heaven (Ephesians 2). That’s throne language. The transaction of baptism, in other words, is ratified by the Ascension. Notice how 1 Peter 3 links baptism into Christ with the exaltation of Christ:
Yes, we need nothing less than an “ascension reformation”—at every level of our life together in Christ.
Weekly Sunday school classes and Sunday morning sermons may expound on practical Christian living, teaching that our character and actions need to line up with those of Jesus. This has value.
But where is the other teaching, the prior teaching—the emphasis on Jesus’ character, his actions, and his current reign extending from the throne?
We need curricula on discipleship that help believers respond to who and where our King is at this very hour—how he thinks, what he is up to, where he is moving, and how he is ministering and triumphing. Such a larger vision is essential for effective, victorious Christian living.
Yes, we need nothing less than an “ascension reformation.”
Every year denominations and ministry organizations sponsor hundreds of high-level assemblies, seminars, convocations, and conferences. We meet to address pressing topics, such as racial reconciliation, personal evangelism, church growth, end-times preparations, leadership principles, kingdom-styled social justice, city/community gospel movements, spiritual gifts and empowerment, challenges in world missions, the need for national revival—as well as to hear experts exchange academic persuasions on the most current theological debates.
All of this is well and good in its proper place.
But what about focusing our attention on Jesus our King, installed at the right hand of the Father? Why don’t our conversations engage much more with the incomparable, incontrovertible inauguration of God’s Messiah with all the powerful implications it brings for every other theme we have gathered to address?
If, at this moment, Jesus on the throne is the single greatest reality defining the fortunes of the universe—and it is!—should it not comprise the hottest topic in our seminars and our sermons? Not the only topic, of course, but at least the hottest topic!
Instead, too often, we talk around him rather than talk about him. Would we act that way in an audience with the new King Charles III? Of course not. We’d talk to him, and then later, we’d talk about him. Well, the fact is that every day we are alive in union with Christ Jesus, we are sharing a constant “audience with the King.”
Why don’t we start a conversation about the Coronation?
I wonder what would happen if Christian leaders convened for three days specifically to explore the wider dimensions of Christ’s coronation?
What if they tried to relate multiple facets of his supremacy to the central doctrines and designs of Christian faith and discipleship with the goal of unpacking a biblical perspective on God’s Son that incorporates the profound implications of the Apostle’s Creed where it says: “He ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, from where he shall come to judge the living and the dead”?
Such deliberations might unfold for half a day inside one congregation, among respected leaders in a city or community, in your Bible study group, your campus Christian fellowship, or through a national-level convocation.
The initiative would help launch a modern-day reformation movement—a spiritual revolution throughout the Church fueled by the reclamation of a greater, grander, more glorious Christology—a Christology enlarged, expanded, and deepened by our embracing the robust ramifications of his coronation. Such a “consequential Christology” would eventually ignite a wide-sweeping passion for the reign of Christ and for living out every expression of his kingship today.
Quite honestly, I’ve devoted my whole adult life to fostering and serving nothing less than such a “reformation” inside the hearts and communities of Christians around the world to unleash in the Body of Christ a wholesale awakening to the Son whose spectacular supremacy blazed forth two millennia ago on his glorious coronation day and will continue blazing for all eternity!
Join us in this cause!
Get started by visiting ChristNow.com. There you can sign up today for our Nationwide Campaign for an American CHRIST Awakening. No effort we know about at the moment is more strategic to the future of the cause of Christ in our nation.
And watch this short video clip: “Awake to Christ and the Incredible Impact of His Ascension!
Then, step into our growing “processional” for the King of kings— already underway! He alone is WORTHY!
About the Author
Over the past 45 years, David Bryant has been defined by many as a “messenger of hope” and a “Christ proclaimer” to the Church throughout the world. Formerly a minister-at-large with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, president of Concerts of Prayer International (COPI), and chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee, David now provides leadership to ChristNow.com and Proclaim Hope!, whose mission is to foster and serve Christ Awakening movements. Order his widely read books at DavidBryantBooks.com. Enjoy his regular CHRIST TODAY podcast.