“They will wage war on the Lamb [Jesus], and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” – Revelation 17:14
Majestic music, massive choirs, and awe-struck audiences—these factors describe many of the performances of one of the most-loved choral works in the western world, “The Messiah.”
This English-language oratorio, composed by George Frideric Handel in 1741, was initially performed in Dublin and London. Recounting biblical prophecies and scriptural facts about Jesus, the oratorio culminates with Christ’s resurrection, ascension, and rule. The music and words not only celebrate the life and teachings of Jesus the Messiah, but they sublimely acclaim the mystery and majesty of his ultimate, sovereign reign.
The following representative words from “The Messiah” always transport my heart and spirit to heavenly heights of joyful praise:
“King of kings (Forever and ever Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
And Lord of lords (Forever and ever Hallelujah! Hallelujah!)
And He shall reign forever and ever! Hallelujah!”
Yes, we acknowledge that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords as we continue to celebrate significant and specific biblical names for Jesus. In fact, in recent months we have identified and discussed more than thirty names for him. In addition to today’s key Bible verse above, we read in Revelation 19:16, “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
As King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus reigns, as appointed by God, above all and over all creation with inviolable, absolute authority. The apostle Paul states that Jesus is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he [God] put all things under his feet” (Ephesians 1:21-22).
Paul also celebrates Jesus’ obedience to God in sacrificing his perfect life to atone for sinners who accept the gift of salvation. In Philippians 2:9-11, Paul states, “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him [Jesus] the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Indeed, Jesus “is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).
We glorify the Father, and we bow before Jesus, the Lord of lords. Our hearts and mouths confess, as did Thomas when he encountered the resurrected Christ, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28). Our King of kings shall reign forever and ever! Hallelujah!
Kay Henry is a columnist for The Claremore Progress. All Bible quotations are from “The Holy Bible, English Standard Version” (ESV), unless otherwise noted.
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