Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? Matthew 2:1-2
CHRIST IS KING!
Usually kings are succeeded to the throne. The king (or queen) dies, the son and heir to the throne then becomes king in his place, often with the cry: ‘The king is dead. Long live the king!’ We see this succession throughout the Old Testament history of Israel.
Herod was the king of Israel at the time of Jesus’ birth, however, he did not succeed to the throne; he was appointed king by the Romans. He was not born of the kingly line and so had no legitimate claim to the title.
And by all accounts, Herod was not keen on leaving a succession plan for his throne – he killed three of his sons. When the wise men asked about he who had been born king of the Jews, Herod became very worried, so worried in fact that he ordered baby boys up to the age of two years old to be killed so there would be no likelihood of an insurgency against him.
Unlike Herod, Jesus was born a king. He had a legitimate claim to the throne of Israel. The angel Gabriel said to Jesus’ mother, Mary:
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. Luke 1:32-33
So King Jesus, babe of Bethlehem, is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel and has succeeded to the throne after his father, King David. And his reign will be forever.
We can, therefore, justifiably say: Long live the King!