An Everlasting Legacy

There’s something you need to know about me . . . I’m an avid Detroit Red Wings fan. That’s a hockey team in case you didn’t know. Now, not all hockey teams are equal. Many have been in existence for less than 20 years, and most don’t date back any further than the mid-1960s. 

Not the Red Wings. The franchise was founded back in 1926. In that time, they have won 11 championships (the most of any American team), a multitude of division and conference titles, as well as produced more than their fair share of legendary players. Recently, hockey experts got together to determine the 100 greatest players in the sports history. Nine of those players chosen once appeared as Red Wings on the same team! By the way, that would be the 2002 Championship team.

Please stay with me, I promise all of this will connect with David.

Amidst the team’s rich history, there’s a special honor. A very select group of truly superlative players are given the unique honor of having their uniform numbers retired. In the team’s 91-year history, this has only happened with six players, and it’s a big deal! A banner with the player’s name and number is raised to the rafters of the Red Wing’s home arena as the faithful fan base cheers and applauds. To solidify the honor permanently, these numbers will never be worn by anyone who plays for the Red Wings.

But, one of those players to have his number retired has been given an even greater honor. Gordie Howe, a true legend in the sport who passed away last June, not only has his number retired, but the entrance to the Red Wing’s arena has been named after him. To top it all off, the entrance is dominated by a 12-foot statue depicting him as a player in his prime.

Here’s the point in sharing all of this; there are those who come and go, and then there are those who leave a lasting legacy. Their careers end, but their presence is felt long after they retire and even after they die.

We have a similar situation when it comes to David. Countless kings have come and gone over the course of human history. Do you know what all of their careers have in common? They all ended once they died. True, their powers may have been passed down a few generations. But eventually, every king lost his throne both literally and figuratively.

Except one. David. 

There’s something quite unique about David’s legacy, even more so than Gordie Howe’s. During David’s time as Israel’s king, God gave an incredible promise concerning his reign: “Your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16 NKJV). Here, God promised David something that only God could promise, something that could never be said for any other king, no matter how powerful. David would die, but his position and powers would be passed on to his descendants in such a way that they would rule forever!

I can only imagine David’s reaction to hearing this, because this is really an impossible proclamation . . . unless God makes it. The One who knows all things from the end to the beginning and who is eternally sovereign over the entire universe is declaring that David’s lineage would never lose the throne to another line. It would be a legacy unlike any other, and it was ultimately fulfilled through the birth of a descendant roughly 1,000 years after David died . . . Jesus of Nazareth! 

We learn from both Matthew and Luke that Jesus was a rightful heir to David’s throne. Matthew traces Jesus’ legal claim to the throne through David’s royal line via his step-father, Joseph (Matthew 1:6-16), and Luke traces Jesus’ genetic connection to David via His mother, Mary (Luke 3:23-31). We can go so far to even say that Jesus was “twice David’s!”

Of course, Jesus took David’s rule to an entirely new and eternal level. He isn’t just some passing king like all the others, but He’s the King of all kings and Lord of all lords (Revelation 19:16)! Christ’s empire encompasses absolutely everywhere because all things were created by and for Him (Colossians 1:16)!  Moreover, because He has died and resurrected, His reign will never end, because He can never die again (Romans 6:9)!

Through the amazing realities of who Jesus is and what He has done, the promise to David has come true. The David throne has been established for all eternity, because his power has been generationally and genetically passed down to the eternal Christ! No earthly legacy of any sort can begin to compare with this.

Despite how legendary an athlete, politician, warrior, writer, etc. may be . . . their legacies eventually end. They don’t extend into eternity. Human history stops at a certain point. And it’s at that very point that the everlasting rule and reign of Jesus is just getting started.

“Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”—Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”—1 Timothy 1:17 (NKJV)

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.