Sermon for Easter Day 10:30 service 04.09.23 “Long lives the King of Kings!”

Easter Day 2023
Text: Psalm 146
Theme: Long lives the King of Kings!
Hymn: LSB 797

A. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
B. Psalm 146 serves as our sermon text for this morning, which reads as
Psalm 146:1–10 (NASB95)
1Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I
have my being.
3Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
4His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts
5How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, Whose hope is in the
LORD his God,
6Who made heaven and earth, The sea and all that is in them; Who keeps
faith forever;
7Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. The
LORD sets the prisoners free.
8The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are
bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous;
9The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
10The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise
the LORD!
This is the Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
C. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God our heavenly Father through
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
D. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
LSB 797:1-2 Praise the Almighty
Praise the Almighty, my soul, adore Him!
Yes, I will laud Him until death;
With songs and anthems I come before Him
As long as He allows me breath.
From Him my life and all things came;
Bless, O my soul, His holy name.
Alleluia, alleluia!

Trust not in rulers; they are but mortal;
Earthborn they are and soon decay.
Vain are their counsels at life’s last portal,
When the dark grave engulfs its prey.
Since mortals can no help afford,
Place all your trust in Christ, our Lord.
Alleluia, alleluia!
E. Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!


A. Is it hard work that makes the world go round:
1. whether it be:
A. in academia,
B. business,
C. government,
D. or any type of vocation?
B. In order to succeed:
1. you take classes,
2. you chase after advanced degrees,
3. you put in long hours.
4. You borrow money, so you put off marriage and children to pay the
debt—the enormous capital offense!
5. But you finally get the sheepskin and, you hope, the successful career
and life that follows.
6. Is that what makes for success?
C. Or is it the other great wisdom of the world known by the cliché, “It’s
not what you know, but who you know”?
1. Business deals are made on the back nine,
2. promotions approved over martinis.
3. It’s all about contacts, networking.
4. Is that how life and eternal life works?
D. People certainly think the afterlife works on the basis of what we do,
our hard work.
E. “Just get a job!” is something I have heard people say to those who are
hungry and homeless.
1. That saying also seems to apply to those who are spiritually “poor”.
2. Just get a job!
A. People, in their pride and arrogance:
1. think having enough good works,
2. sincerity,
3. and personal suffering
4. will tip the scales in one’s favor to pay off the enormous debt of sin.
B. But our cause is more lost than that of poor Sisyphus, who for eternity
the Greek gods forced him to roll a boulder to at least near the top of the
hill before it always rolled back.
F. Instead, it is truly “not what you know, but who you know.”
1. “For us fights the valiant One, Whom God Himself elected” (LSB 656:2 A
Mighty Fortress is our God).
2. Our salvation is not found in what we know:
3. our hard work
4. and study
5. and best efforts
6. but in who we know, our Savior, Lord, Redeemer, and King, Jesus, who was
crucified but is risen from the dead (Matthew 28:5–6).
1. “Long live the king!” is a subjunctive, a wish.
A. “And all the people shouted, ‘Long live the king!’ ” (1 Samuel 10:24).
1. This acclamation is made at the accession of a new king to the throne.
2. From King Saul to King George, this is a common expression.
3. It’s an awkward sentence, though—“Long live the king.”
4. The verb “live” is in the subjunctive mood—unusual usage in modern
5. The subjunctive expresses wishes, desires, and conditional statements.
B. A nation wishes its king will live long.
1. Stability in national leadership is usually desirable.
2. There’s very little worse than a quick succession of governments and the
uncertainty that follows.
3. As the king goes, so goes the nation.
4. When the king dies young, the nation is left in turmoil.
5. We’ve seen all of these realities played out in our Lenten and Holy Week
series on the good kings of Judah.
2. It reminds us that the end of all kings is still death.
A. Now that we’re at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, it pays to return to the
beginning to see how we got to this point.
1. The first chapter of Matthew begins with a genealogy of Jesus.
2. In the middle of the genealogy are the generations of the kings of
3. For example:
Matthew 1:8 (NASB95)
8 “Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and
Joram the father of Uzziah” and so on.
A. This is a stark reminder that one king follows another as life and death
take their turns.
B. Reading this might bring to mind the salutation, “The king is dead. Long
live the king!”
B. Likewise, the structure of the Books of Chronicles in the Old Testament
is very clear.
1. Whenever a king dies, there is a burial story and then the beginning of
the next reign.
2. The key facts are how old the king was when he took the throne and how
many years he lived.
3. Whether the reign was long or short, you could be sure that one king
would die and another take his place.
4. “The king is dead. Long live the king!”
C. The other thing written at the beginning of each king’s reign concerns
the faithfulness of the monarch.
1. Usually he either followed or abandoned the ways of his father David.
2. The point is that the king had a large influence over the direction of
the nation.
3. A good king like David or Josiah led the nation in righteousness, but a
bad king like Manasseh led the nation into evil.
4. The blessings or punishments visited on the king inevitably fell on the
people also.
D. A lesson we continually learn from history, ancient or modern, is
written in Psalm 146:
Psalm 146:3–4 (NASB95)
3Do not trust in princes, In mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
4His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts
E. Although we often look to political rulers for deliverance, there is no
salvation in them.
1. They live and die as ordinary people do.
2. Even the best leaders of men see their plans perish when their breath
3. Even if the king is wonderful, his successor might undo everything he
4. We see that in the constant cycle of repairing the temple and then
plundering it throughout Judah’s history.
5. As King Solomon foretold in Ecclesiastes, a king cannot control how his
children will rule.
6. If Solomon could have only known that his son Rehoboam would split the
kingdom in two by his tyranny!
7. In the end, the only difference between one of the great kings of Judah
and any peasant in the land is the size and place of the tomb.
F. Verse 3 of the hymn “Praise the Almighty” declares:
Blessèd, oh, blessèd are they forever
Whose help is from the Lord Most High,
Whom from salvation can nothing sever,
And who in hope to Christ draw nigh.
To all who trust in Him, our Lord
Will aid and counsel now afford.
Alleluia, alleluia!
3. But for once, the King is dead. Long live the same King!
A. The King is dead.
1. Long live the King!
2. There is one king in history who breaks this mold.
3. He came from a line of kings, but was not born in a palace.
4. Instead, the angel Gabriel announced his birth to his mother, saying:
Luke 1:32 (NASB95)
32“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the
Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;
5. An angel also visited Joseph, the son of David, proclaiming that:
Matthew 1:21 (NASB95)
21“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save
His people from their sins.”
6. This one was hailed as King by Magi from the east.
7. He was christened as King with the Holy Spirit at his Baptism in the
8. Peter says in Acts that:
Acts 10:37–39 (NASB95)
37you yourselves know the thing which took place throughout all Judea,
starting from Galilee, after the baptism which John proclaimed.
38“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit
and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were
oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
39“We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews
and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross.
9. Nathanael recognized Jesus as King of Israel early on.
10. As Jesus went through the land conquering the kingdom of darkness,
preaching the coming kingdom of God, and restoring creation, the crowds
would have made him king.
11. Indeed, when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowds cried out:
John 12:12–13 (NASB95)
12On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they
heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
13took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began
the King of Israel.”
12. But the crowd’s reaction, especially after the feeding of the five
thousand, was based only on his power.
13. They thought anyone who could feed them for free would be a great king.
14. Free food and no taxes sounded great, then as now.
B. Instead, the only crown Jesus ever wore was made of thorns, not gold.
1. The only purple robe he wore was stripped off after he was mocked.
2. The inscription of his kingdom was posted on a cross:
3. “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”
4. So the day of his coronation was the day of his death.
5. That was not a long life for the king—certainly the shortest reign of
any king of Judah.
6. The King is dead.
C. Long live the King!
1. This morning we celebrate the only King to succeed himself.
D. The King of Kings Lives Forever.
4. That makes him so different from every other king.
A. The Son of Man, who lived without so much as a pillow to call his own,
was buried in a rich man’s tomb.
1. He had a reservation at a brand new tomb with a garden view.
2. The owner no doubt expected that to be a long-term stay, but Jesus left
after just three days and two nights.
B. So Jesus proved to be different from all the kings before him.
1. To begin, he kept his word more than any of his ancestors.
2. He said he would suffer and die and rise on the third day; that’s
exactly what he did.
3. You can put your trust in this Son of Man, because there is salvation
only in Him and in no one else!
C. Further, even as his Spirit departed, his plans were accomplished.
1. He left nothing undone; it is finished.
A. The sixth word or saying that Jesus spoke from the cross was the single
Greek word tetelestai which means “It is finished.”
B. Papyri receipts for taxes have been recovered with the word tetelestai
written across them, meaning “paid in full.”
C. This word on Jesus’ lips was significant.
D. When He said, “It is finished” (not “I am finished”), He meant His
redemptive work was completed.
E. He had been made sin for people (2 Corinthians 5:21) and had suffered
the penalty of God’s justice which sin deserved.
F. Even in the moment of His death, Jesus remained the One who gave up His
life (cf. John 10:11, 14, 17–18).
G. He bowed His head (giving His seventh saying:
Luke 23:46 (NASB95)
46And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I
COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
H. This differs from the normal process in death by crucifixion in which
the life-spirit would ebb away and then the head would slump forward.
Edwin A. Blum, “John,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of
the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL:
Victor Books, 1985), 340.
2. His life’s work of saving his people through the forgiveness of sins
culminated in his death for the sin of the world.
A. His plans didn’t perish in the tomb but were completed in his
resurrection on the third day.
B. As his own successor, he didn’t pass on his kingdom to sons.
C. He ascended to the heavenly throne as Lord of all.
D. As it is written:
Ephesians 1:18–23 (NASB95)
18I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will
know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of
His inheritance in the saints,
19and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might
20which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and
seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name
that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head
over all things to the church,
23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
D. The Son of David is surely an unusual king.
1. He didn’t wage war against neighboring kingdoms.
2. He didn’t build a temple, palace, or city walls.
3. He didn’t preside over a booming economy.
4. Instead, his mission was healing and justice.
5. The mission of the Lord Jesus is summarized in Psalm 146:
Psalm 146:7–9 (NASB95)
7 [He] Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the
hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free.
8The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are
bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous;
9The LORD protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow,
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
6. These words are reflected in Luke 4 as Jesus began his public ministry:
Luke 4:18–19 (NASB95)
E. His victory was greater than all the kings of Judah because it was won
over the last and greatest enemy—death.
1. This was won through the forgiveness of sins, which robbed death of its
2. His life of love changed the way his people live, and his death changed
the way his people die.
3. In his kingdom is freedom and life.
4. In his kingdom there is fullness of joy; at his right hand are pleasures
F. Unlike with the kings of Judah, his people are not located in one
1. His are the saints, as Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 1 when he says:
1 Corinthians 1:2 (NASB95)
2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been
sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place
call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
2. His sheep listen to his voice and follow him.
3. His people live the blessed life, receiving all blessings with
persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
4. He leads his people in all righteousness, a righteousness not of
ourselves but which he has fulfilled with His death and resurrection.
G. So Jesus Christ, as John wrote in Revelation, is:
Revelation 1:5 (NASB95)
5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead,
and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released
us from our sins by His blood—
H. The cycle of anointing a new king and wishing he will be better than the
previous is over.
1. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords; he is here, and he isn’t
going anywhere.
I. Not only that, but he has made his people kings.
1. St. Paul writes:
1 Corinthians 6:2 (NASB95)
2Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is
judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
2. And in Revelation we hear that in the new Jerusalem God’s servants will
reign forever and ever.
3. The beginning of Psalm 146 reads:
Psalm 146:1–2 (NASB95)
1Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2I will praise the LORD while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I
have my being.
J. We have a long time to sing those praises because, like our King, we
also live forever.
1. Hallelujah!
5. So we can drop the subjunctive: “Long lives the King!”
A. There is good news today: we can drop the subjunctive.
1. We will change the expression this glorious morning.
2. Instead of “Long live the king”, it is “Long lives the King!”
3. No more wishing, desiring, hoping.
4. Put it in the indicative mood.
5. Declare it; say it’s true because it is!
6. “Long lives the King!”
Psalm 146:10 (NASB95)
10The LORD will reign forever, Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise
the LORD!
B. This is news of inexpressible joy.
1. As he rules, so goes his kingdom.
2. The fortune of his kingdom is completely dependent on her King.
3. And so we have a kingdom with peace and stability under our Lord Jesus
4. For the Son of David was pierced for our transgressions and has ascended
to the throne, that we:
5. “may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in
everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen
from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity” (SC, Second Article).


A. May the words of Revelation, chapters 19 and 11 be our words not only
for today, but for every day:
Revelation 19:6–7 (NASB95)
6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the
sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
7“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of
the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Revelation 11:15 (NASB95)
15Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven,
saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of
His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
B. Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.
C. Let us pray:
LSB 797:4-5 Praise the Almighty
Penitent sinners, for mercy crying,
Pardon and peace from Him obtain;
Ever the wants of the poor supplying,
Their faithful God He will remain.
He helps His children in distress,
The widows and the fatherless.
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise, all you people, the name so holy
Of Him who does such wondrous things!
All that has being, to praise Him solely,
With happy heart its amen sings.
Children of God, with angel host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Alleluia, alleluia! Amen.
Text: Public domain
D. The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
E. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
F. Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Amen.