Michael Jackson is dead. Jesus is alive.
The king of pop, Michael Jackson was pronounced dead less than three hours ago this day, and at this very moment, the throngs of worshipers who cried, shouted, fainted, and memorized every last word to his countless hits are experiencing the gravitas of life’s final breath of one who seemed by everyone around the world to be larger than life.
At this moment the praises of Michael Jackson are being lauded from celebrities to news correspondents while millions, perhaps billions are preoccupied with the seemingly day-altering announcement of his passing. The life and death of Michael Jackson is a tragic story, one that we are all too familiar with as our fallen world has no shortage of footage regarding Jackson’s fallen nature.
While the king of pop is being remembered by all those who sang his songs and danced his dances, my mind is taken back to the King whose praises redound with an anthem through the ages. When he died, there were no songs or dances but casting of lots and twisting of thorns, and while this was going on, death was being defeated through his death. His kingdom was not of this world, and everyone who has this eschatalogical hope and confidence should recognize that our songs of praise are but a refrain in the eternal chorus with angels and the redeemed proceeding unto the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world.
For all those who call upon the name of Jesus, times like this should cause us to transcend this worldwide moment of mourning of one of its kings with a fixation on the resurrection reality and the eternal reward that comes from having been united with him who conquered death and lives forevermore. There is never a time where Michael Jackson is more famous than Jesus, and though his songs would be sung as fitting for the king of pop, those rescued by sovereign grace should find it ever fitting to worship him who alone is the king of glory.
There are lessons for us to learn as we watch the world turn their attention to their king. Consider their worship, their reverence, their attention and affection. Consider the round-the-clock news coverage. Consider that currently 30% of all updates on Twitter around the world are paying respects to Michael Jackson.
And then turn your attention to our king and know that the story of his glory is not over beyond the grave. His kingdom is not of this world, and his praises do not cease when death has taken center stage. Jesus has upstaged death, and therefore should not our worship be all the more radical, hopeful, and global? Feel the weight of those who mourn with no hope, and lift up your hearts and offer your lives to the King of kings whose praises will have no end.