The King’s Eternal Reign: The Cradle, The Cross, and The Crown
The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of… Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! — Revelation 11:15
No wonder He was a Carpenter.
Cradled in a manger made of wood, He brought Christmas joy to the world at His birth.
He is Jesus.
Nailed to an old rugged cross and lifted up to die for sin, He brought Easter glory to the world by His resurrection.
He is the Savior.
Coming again as the Branch of righteousness, He will bring an everlasting kingdom and will reign in power.
Behold! His name is the Branch.
Why Branch? At the time of Jesus’ birth, the royal line of David — from which He came — had dried up in Israel. But He would still be King, for Branch is a title for Messiah and speaks of fruitfulness. The prophet Isaiah said,
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. — Isaiah 11:1
When Jesus stepped down from His eternal throne, He came as Servant — the Vine of the Vinedresser — who brings life. The Child from Heaven had royal blood in His veins, though He was born in a stable. But when He comes back,
the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign… forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. — Luke 1:32–33
This is why the prophet Zechariah prophesied that the Messiah would come from David’s royal lineage and said,
Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! — Zechariah 6:12
No wonder the Branch will then say,
I am… your King. — Isaiah 43:15
It is hard to grasp that a King would serve, but this is no ordinary king. This is Jesus, whose Father proclaimed, “I am bringing forth My Servant the Branch.” He will be gloriously crowned. He will sit on His righteous throne and “from His place He shall branch out” (Zechariah 6:12) — to serve.
How will He serve? He will harvest His bounty — souls to fill Heaven.
No wonder the Bible has a lot to say about roots, seeds, branches, and vines — and trees. I can’t help but wonder what went through the mind of Jesus as He worked in the carpenter’s shop, filled with varied woods harvested from the forests. We certainly know that He spoke of trees to illustrate truth as He walked the valleys and hills with His disciples.
Nearly every biblical writer wrote about the trees. Perhaps this is why Ezekiel described the coming kingdom this way:
Trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches… They [will be] watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing. — Ezekiel 47:12
This is certainly a picture of the coming King: from the root of Jesse, from the seed of David, whose name is Branch. No wonder Jesus called Himself the true Vine —
I am the vine; you are the branches. — John 15:5
— for eternal life flows from the vine to the branches. This is Heaven’s family tree.
No wonder Jesus found strength as He kneeled among the olive trees in the garden of Gethsemane, at the base of the Mount of Olives. On this mountain, overlooking Jerusalem, Jesus taught His disciples to pray. This is where He wept over the city. This is where He will plant His feet when He comes back in glory.
Then His kingdom will branch out — just as the crown of a tree, by its branches, covers a great area. The Branch protects and hovers over His own, and
His beauty shall be like an olive tree. — Hosea 14:6
Years ago I preached a sermon titled “The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown.” But there is no greater sermon than what is found in Isaiah when He prophesied the tremendous life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Babe would be named Immanuel, God with us. — Isaiah 7:14
Jesus was born among His very creation, and it isn’t hard to imagine the animals bowing in reverence as they welcomed the Child who would be King into the world.
For He shall grow up… as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground… He was wounded for our transgressions. — Isaiah 53:2-5
And He died with a crown of thorns piercing His brow. But Job wrote:
There is hope for a tree, If it is cut down, that it will sprout again, And that its tender shoots will not cease. — Job 14:7
The world thought they had conquered the King of the Jews when they crucified Him, but Peter wrote that while Jesus bore our sins in His own body “on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24), the seed would live again — and He did. No wonder the Branch is coming back to reign (Isaiah 9:7).
This is eternity — it is coming. Revelation is a book that thrills the heart. It is a book of action because its message calls out to mankind with repetition: Behold! And come! Why? There is something magnificent to behold that is yet to come! The apostle John is told,
[Come up here — come and see!] Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. — Revelation 5:5).
Then we’re told that Heaven will come down and to hold fast till the Lord comes. The nations will gather and come to worship Him. No wonder the Spirit tells us to come; let him who thirsts come drink, and the Lord proclaims,
Behold, I make all things new. — Revelation 21:5
The marriage of the Lamb has come. — Revelation 19:7
Gather together for the supper of the great God. — Revelation 19:17
Where does the King want us to come? Home. This little word come is filled with eternal promise. I suppose that is why I have always been drawn to the song that closed most of our evangelistic crusades:
And as thou bidst me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. ~ Charlotte Elliott, “Just As I Am Without One Plea”
Jesus gives us His words:
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End… who is and who was and who is to come. — Revelation 1:8
I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things… I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. — Revelation 22:16
He who testifies to these things says,
Surely I am coming quickly. — Revelation 22:20
He sends out a mighty promise:
He who overcomes… I will write on him My new name. — Revelation 3:12
The Bible says,
He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. — Revelation 17:14
The chosen are those who have received Him as personal Savior. When we are with Him for eternity, we will inherit a new address — Heaven — and it is all the address we’ll need. We will also inherit our new names. And we will eat the fruit from the Vine of the tree that possesses eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No wonder He came — that we might come.
The great revelation for me is to know that when the Lord calls me home, where I am then, is where He will be, waiting in the place He has prepared from the beginning. This is the Eternal Reign of the Great I Am.
No wonder He is King!
I am He who lives… and behold, I am alive forevermore. — Revelation 1:18
Excerpted with permission from Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond the Now by Billy Graham, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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Is He the King of your life? What do you think about Heaven? Share this excerpt with a friend who may be wondering what happens for the believer after death! What an exciting eternal future we have waiting for us! Come join the conversation about Heaven on our blog! We want to hear from you!