"Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne; Hark how the heav'nly anthem drowns all music but its own. Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee, And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
"Crown Him the Lord of heav'n, enthroned in worlds above, Crown Him the King to whom is giv'n the wondrous name of Love. Crown Him with many crowns as thrones before Him fall; Crown Him, ye kings, with many crowns, for He is King of all."
Although there may be few such rulers in our world today, kings most often come into their kingship because of the death of the previous monarch. In other circumstances, as in ancient times, a king might take up his reign after conquering his enemies and taking their realms as his own.
Our Lord, the Lamb of God, came into His kingship through suffering and dying. Jesus was crowned, not with gold, but with thorns. He was lifted up, not on a throne, but on a cross. His kingship was mocked by the sign posted above His head, a warning to others who desired kingly power: "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews" (John 19:19b). Jesus the King died and was buried, not with great ceremony as might be done for a monarch, but in haste because of the nearness of the Sabbath day. On the third day after His death, Jesus the King rose in triumph over death, a victory no earthly king, however powerful, could claim. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus conquered His enemies—our enemies—sin, death, and the devil. The risen and exalted Lord ascended to reign in glory at the right hand of God the Father. Saints and angels celebrated as the King took His throne: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11:15b).
The verses of our hymn celebrate the "many crowns" of the Lamb who was slain for us. He is crowned as the virgin's Son who, even though He was God, humbled Himself, taking on our human flesh to be born among us. Jesus is crowned as the Lord of love, who bore our sins in His body on the cross. He receives a crown as the Lord of life because He conquered death to win eternal life for us. Finally, Jesus is crowned as the Lord of heaven, the One to whom all authority is given. So many crowns! Yet all of these crowns are hardly enough to reflect the power and glory of our King, who will one day present to each of His faithful subjects the crown of life.
WE PRAY: Jesus, I will praise You forever as my matchless King. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Crown Him with Many Crowns," which is number 525 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Can you name any kings or queens from around the world?
2. Why was Jesus' crown made of thorns and not gold or silver?
3. How can we "crown" Jesus in our daily lives with the glory He deserves?
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