Read: John 19
It was the day of Preparation for Passover; it was about noon.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
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.
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. (John 19:14-16)
Every single time I read this true story, I am shocked anew at the boldness of the Jewish chief priests in declaring, “We have no king but Caesar!”
The Jews did have a king: the LORD, the Almighty God was their king. But in this instant, it seemed to them that they would achieve their own ends faster and better if they denied God their heavenly king and proclaimed someone else, the Roman caesar, to be their king. What blasphemy!
Even if you take into account that these Jews did not believe Jesus was sent by God to be their king, it was still total hypocrisy to condemn one man to death for “claim[ing] to be king of the Jews” (John 19:21) while proclaiming another mere human man to be their only king.
I call it shocking, but I shouldn’t be shocked. I, too, often seek to enthrone someone other than Jesus as king over my life. All too often, I want to establish myself as my own king. This is my sin.
This is why Jesus died: He was king, not only of the Jews, but of me, of all people. And the throne upon which he was crowned was a Roman cross.
Jesus is King and his throne is a Cross.
LORD God Almighty,
I declare Jesus of Nazareth is King – not just King of the Jews, as Pilate listed on his crucifixion notice. Jesus of Nazareth is King of all the universe, and Jesus of Nazareth is King of me. May it ever be so!
May I always, in every moment of my everyday ordinary Christian life, humbly submit to my sovereign king: Jesus the Christ, Jesus the Messiah, Jesus your Anointed One, Jesus of Nazareth who died on a cross for me.
May I be a willing and obedient citizen of Jesus’ kingdom. May I never seek to subvert Jesus’ rule or overthrow his reign in my life. May I submit and find joy and satisfaction in Jesus my king.
LORD, I don’t want to be a hypocrite. Please help me to submit to Jesus, through the voice and work of your Holy Spirit in my heart. Please help me to exalt you as King in my life.
Help me to submit in a righteous and holy way to those human authorities you have set over me: my pastor-husband Jeff, our church elders Dawson and David, my bosses at work, my nation’s elected government and its officials.