A DIFFERENT KING
Read: John 19:13-22
“13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaicis Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” (NIV John 19:13-22)
Study: Pilate asked, “Do you want me to crucify your king?” Turning their backs on not just their nation but their God, the religious leaders said, “We have no king except the emperor.” Pastor Hamilton wrote, “In a very real sense, this wasn’t Jesus’ trial at all; it was the trial of Pontius Pilate and the religious leaders…. because of Pilate’s concern for himself, he sent Christ to die. He may have helped his political career, but he failed the test.” Pilate sentenced Jesus to the cross. God in the flesh, without sin or fault, was condemned to die a brutal death. At almost any other time, the religious leaders in Jerusalem would have said they hated Rome’s control, and the claim of Rome’s emperors to be divine. Yet in their fervor to see Jesus condemned, they shockingly declared, “We have no king except the emperor.” Are there earthly “emperors” to whom you are tempted to give your loyalty today, above your loyalty to God? What can help you to always hold God as the supreme ruler in your heart?
Pray: Loving Jesus, I pledge allegiance—first, above all else—to you and your kingdom. Deliver me from the urge to seek earthly power or influence by compromising that allegiance. Amen