Christ. Chosen One. King. Saviour. These are the titles given to Jesus in today’s Gospel. But the titles are used to mock him, as he is nailed to the Cross and lifted up for everyone to see and laugh at. The people watch silently while their leaders jeer at Jesus. A crucified King seems like a bad joke.
Only one person expresses faith in Jesus; a thief who has been sentenced to death for his crimes. He recognises Jesus as the King who has power to forgive his sins. This man, by his own admission, has led a sinful life; but his act of faith and repentance, almost with his last breath, is enough to win him the promise of paradise.
Today, on the last Sunday of the Church’s year, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Jesus truly is the Christ, God’s Chosen One, King and Saviour, but today’s Gospel shows us that he is no ordinary King. The kings of this world send their subjects to die for them, but Jesus gives his life to save us from our sins. Whatever sins we have on our conscience, we can always turn to the Lord and be confident of receiving mercy and forgiveness.