On August 16th, people worldwide will remember Elvis Presley, ‘King of Rock and Roll’, on the anniversary of his death. But once we get to know Jesus, we meet a different kind of “King”.
On August 16, 1977, the world was saddened by the news that Elvis Presley was found dead at Graceland, his estate in Memphis, Tennessee. Elvis had begun his singing career in 1954 and, within two years, became an international sensation. His blending of musical styles and his charismatic performances ushered in a new era of American music. For that reason, Elvis was nicknamed the ‘King of Rock and Roll’.
Worldwide, Elvis sold more than a billion records, far more than any other artist. His concert performances often broke records, and his many awards included fourteen Grammy nominations. Every year around the anniversary of Elvis’s death, fans from all over the world still flock to Memphis for a week of activities commemorating the “King” and his music.
However, I’m finding God in a different king:
Pilate said, “So you are a king?” John 18:37 (NLT)
The world doesn’t always know how to use the title “king.” When Jesus miraculously fed a crowd of thousands, the people wanted to forcefully make him king to lead them out of Roman bondage. He fled into the hills. Later, when he rode a donkey into Jerusalem for Passover, the crowd hailed him as king. A few days later they were demanding his crucifixion. After his trial, soldiers called him “king” as they mocked him, dressing him in a robe and a crown of thorns.
As Jesus stood before Pilate, he stated that he was not an earthly king. His Kingdom was not of this world. In order to come into his Kingdom, he had to become a servant and a sacrifice for the human race. But someday, when Jesus comes back to earth to reign, no one will ask him if he is a king. His title will be written on his robe and his thigh: “King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (Revelation 19:16). And then all the earth will be “Grace Land.”
You can learn more about Presley’s life and career by reading his biography here.
Enjoy the images in this video as Elvis sings the beautiful hymn, “In the Garden”, a departure from his being characterized as the king of rock and roll:
© Dianne Neal Matthews (www.DianneNealMatthews.com). Dianne is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books. This article is adapted from her book, The One Year on This Day (Tyndale House).