Jesus' triumph and coronation
Biblically speaking, Jesus’ triumph, his victory over the forces mounted against him, and the completion of his own internal struggle, was on the cross. Dying, he conquered. His crucifixion was his exaltation.
Jesus made it clear that triumphing through letting go was not just something he was doing, but something all of his followers would do as well. “Whoever wants to be my student must take up his cross…”
If Jesus’ personal triumph was on the cross, where would we find his Messianic triumph? Where would we find him establishing his position over his kingdom?
Jesus’ followers asked him exactly this question. “When will these things be, and what will the sign of your appearing?”
This is usually taken to be a question about end-of-the-world issues. But they are really asking when Jesus will be shown (will appear) as the king over Israel. And his answer is as paradoxical as his life and death.
According to Jesus, he would be the king of Israel when Israel bit the dust. When the walls fell, when the temple was shattered, THEN Jesus would rule from the throne. Because…only then would Israel and Jesus finally be united in the same fate. Only then would they both have been stripped of physical attachments. Only then would they have both become the victim of violent forces. Only then would they both experience the opportunity to be reborn as something newer and better and more eternal.
By uniting with him in the likeness of his death, they would have the opportunity to experience newness in the likeness of his resurrection.