December 13, 2015
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
In this Once Upon a Time series, we recognize Jesus Christ as the king we have always longed for. Psalm 45, a song in praise of the king on his wedding day, is addressed to both the king and his bride.
Psalm 45 speaks to two situations:
- A song to commemorate the wedding of one of Israel’s kings
- A poem expressing our truest and best fulfillment in Jesus Christ; a celebration of the wedding of Jesus with His bride, the Church
Wedding Advice from Psalm 45:
- Do not forget to admire your husband.
- In Psalm 45:3-5, the king is respected for his might, his power.
- In Psalm 45:4,6,7 the king is praised for his morality (his love of truth, humility and righteousness). Humility includes compassionate love and mercy.
- In Psalm 45:8,9, the king is admired for his glorious majesty. No one does majesty like Jesus our King, whether it is in the present glory of our universe (His creation) or at His throne in heaven (Revelation 6) in the future of His Kingdom.
Yet this mighty, majestic King Jesus arrived on earth as a baby, in a feeding trough in a stable (rough, dirty and humble), so that every one of us could relate to him (from the richest to the poorest). He came to us and died for us in humility and love so that we could see true righteousness and enter the presence of God.
- Do not forget to leave your people.
“Forget your people and your father’s house. Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord” (Psalm 45:10,11).
Here the bride (the Church) is told to honor the king first. She is to transfer her primary love from her former family to her husband, and to think of herself in a new way as the bride of the king.
Similarly, Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Jesus is not asking but telling us to shift our loyalties, follow him and not look back at our old ways of life.
Today we in this country do not think in terms of kings, but of leaders who are subject to our approval in a democracy. We would question anyone who speaks with the authority of a king. We would prefer to see Jesus not as a mighty and majestic king, but as a teacher, a good example, or simply a savior from our problems.
Yet Jesus is our Lord (Psalm 45:11), our King. He is humble and gentle, but does not need our validation and his commands are absolutes, not suggestions. As our King, Jesus commands us to repent of our old ways and turn to him. We are to leave our former life with its people and its values and become completely loyal to Him.
As we leave our old life, we do not burn all our bridges, but with His help, we transfer daily our allegiance to a new way of thinking, His way.
- Do not forget that the king is crazy about you!
In Psalm 45:13-15, the king is enamored with his bride as he prepares her wedding chamber. Like the king, Jesus loves each one of us! By His own choice, He loves us in the midst of our shortcomings and struggles — in our childhood, our coming of age, our singleness, our marriages, our parenting and our aging.
Jesus’ demands may seem scary to us, but He loves us. Even if we do not feel lovely or righteous, Ephesians 5 shows us that Jesus loves His bride in order to make her lovely, not because she is lovely.
We will only find the courage to leave the past behind by first turning our loyalties to Jesus. Then the King of the universe will transform our willpower and our personalities by His love. In His great love, we will forget our tiny lives with our tiny goals, and leave behind our regrets and dissatisfaction. In His great love, we will truly find a fulfilled life as the bride of the King.
In our hearts, we are overwhelmed by Jesus Christ with His Kingly strength, magnificence and love. In our hearts, we long for just such a King who awes us with His greatness and compassion, and who cares enough about each one of us to transform us daily and fill us with joy.