King of Kings

The Gospel is something that’s happening right now, and we’re right here in the thick of it.
— Brooke Ligertwood (Hillsong Worship)

This weekend, we will sing the song “King of Kings,” an anthem that powerfully summarizes the plan of salvation in less than 300 words. As we sing the lyrics, we’ll walk through the life of the Church, stretching from the accounts in the early chapters of Acts until now, and we’ll be reminded of our place in this story that’s advancing into eternity. Hillsong Worship’s lead vocalist Brooke Ligertwood says, “I would encourage anyone who leads or sings this song to remember what Jesus has done for you personally and sing from that place, and remember that he is not finished with us yet.”

When asked about the inspiration behind the song “King of Kings,” Ligertwood says she read The Screwtape Letters, the satirical novel written by C.S. Lewis where he imagines how Satan battles for the human soul. Ligertwood paraphrases how the novel’s senior demon mentors a junior demon, and how they’re disappointed that their targeted human soul has just become a Christian. The two demons are upset, not only because their “assignment” has become a Christian but because he’s started going to church. Ligertwood says this dialogue about the Church gave her perspective:

“There's this brilliant chapter that C.S. Lewis writes … where the senior demon is saying to the junior demon, ‘You cannot let your Christian basically get a glimpse of the Church as we see her in terms of creatures outside of time and space, a people with a glimpse into eternity, [a people rooted in eternity, an army] throughout time and terrible with banners.’ I love that thought of the church across time. We're here, part of the body of Christ on earth. We're one generation or a few generations at one time. But the Church across eternity - what an incredibly terrifying, brilliant image of an army, terrible with banners, stretched across time and space and eternity, carrying the banner of the Lamb of God! If that doesn't strike courage into you and embolden you that we have a task to do on the earth and that we're God's people, I don't know what will.”

The song is meant to capture our longing for the day when we will be presented – holy - to Christ together in splendor because he loved us and gave himself up for us. Let the words embolden us – because our voices are just a “drop in the bucket” compared to the generations upon generations (past, present, future) who will praise the King of Kings when we all finally gather around His throne. “We’re an army,” says Rich Langton from the Hillsong Creative Podcast, “but sometimes we forget.” May the lyrics below and the corresponding verses help us remember the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.

In the darkness we were waiting (Colossians 1:13)
Without hope without light (Ephesians 2:12)
Till from heaven You came running (Luke 1:79)
There was mercy in Your eyes (Matthew 9:36)
To fulfill the law and prophets (Matthew 5:17-18)
To a virgin came the Word (Matthew 1:18)
From a throne of endless glory (Philippians 2:6-7)
To a cradle in the dirt (Luke 2:6-7)
Praise the Father (1 Peter 1:3-4)
Praise the Son (Ephesians 1:3)
Praise the Spirit three in one (2 Corinthians 13:14)
God of glory (Psalm 24:10)
Majesty (1 Chronicles 29:10-12)
Praise forever to the King of Kings (Jude 1:25)
To reveal the kingdom coming (Daniel 4:34-35 and 7:18)
And to reconcile the lost (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
To redeem the whole creation (Romans 8:21-23)
You did not despise the cross (2 Corinthians 8:9)
For even in Your suffering (Luke 22:41-43)
You saw to the other side (Hebrews 12:2)
Knowing this was our salvation (Luke 4:43)
Jesus for our sake You died (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
And the morning that You rose (Mark 16:9)
All of heaven held its breath (1 Peter 1:11-12)
Till that stone was moved for good (Matthew 28:2)
For the Lamb had conquered death (Acts 2:24)
And the dead rose from their tombs (Matthew 27:52)
And the angels stood in awe (Psalm 89:7-8)
For the souls of all who’d come (Matthew 27:51 and Hebrews 10:19-39)
To the Father are restored (1 Peter 2:24)
And the Church of Christ was born (Acts 2:42)
Then the Spirit lit the flame (Acts 2:1-4)
Now this gospel truth of old (Genesis 3:15, Genesis 22:8, Isaiah 53, Daniel 7:9-10)
Shall not kneel shall not faint (Romans 1:16-17)
By His blood and in His Name (Acts 4:12)
In His freedom I am free (2 Corinthians 3:17)
For the love of Jesus Christ (1 John 3:1)
Who has resurrected me (Colossians 3:1-4, John 11:25, Romans 6:5 and 8:11)

written by a member of our church staff