So they took charge of Jesus. He went out, carrying his cross, and came to ‘The Place of the Skull’, as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called ‘Golgotha’.) There they crucified him; and they also crucified two other men, one on each side, with Jesus between them. Pilate wrote a notice and had it put on the cross. ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,’ is what he wrote. (verses 19:16b-19)
Read John 18:1 – 19:42
The irony of Pilate’s placard! For centuries the Jews had waited for a promised messiah—a king who would bring retribution to Israel’s enemies and offer eternal deliverance and peace to the world. Finally, when the time was right in God’s eyes, he came in the person of Jesus. The Roman governor Pontius Pilate unwittingly announced this to the world when he said, ‘Here is the man!’ just before the human race hounded Jesus to the hill of his death.
But there on the cross Jesus fulfilled the hopes of the people and the promises of God. He brought retribution by crushing the head of Satan and defeating his evil host forever. He delivered sinners from their otherwise lost condition by the great exchange: he bore our sins on the cross; we wear his perfect robe of righteousness. His peace, which is unlike any other, is everlasting and free. Here is your king. Here is his victory and coronation. What a blessed day for you and me and all who are Christ’s citizens through faith.
‘The glory of our King was seen when, with his arms stretched wide to show his love to everyone, Jesus was crucified.’ (Margaret Cropper, born 1886)
Thank you Jesus for dying for me and being my king. Amen
by Rev Simon Cooper, in ‘Living Water for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2001)
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