"HAIL, KING OF THE JEWS"
Then he (Pilate) released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered Him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and put a reed in His right hand. And kneeling before Him, they mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they spit on Him and took the reed and struck Him on the head. (Matthew 27:26-30)
The usual picture of a king is a man dressed in fancy clothes, with a crown on his head and a scepter in his hand. He has all the power—he gets to do whatever he wants, and everybody else has to do what he says.
Jesus' kingship is a bit different. He has the fancy clothes, if you want to call them that. But the crown on His head is a crown of thorns, and the royal robe is probably a cape borrowed from one of the soldiers. He even has a scepter—though it's only a stick, and the soldiers keep taking it away from Him to hit Him over the head with it.
But what about the power? The soldiers would never believe it, but He has that, too. What is happening to Him inside headquarters is happening by His permission. He could call down a legion of angels to save Him if He chose, but He doesn't. He submits to their abuse.
Why? Because Jesus is a true King—and He knows that a king's real purpose is to care for the people. If the people are in danger, the king's job is to save them. And Jesus sees very, very clearly that God's people are in danger. The human beings God created and loves are being harmed—held prisoner by the devil, in danger of everlasting death. They need saving—and Jesus is in the process of doing it. It doesn't matter what it costs Him personally.
You, too, are one of the people Jesus came to rescue. You are one that He loves enough to suffer and even die for. His intention is to give you life—everlasting life—just as He has risen from the dead and will never die again. He is your king, and He wants you in God's kingdom.
THE PRAYER: Lord, You are my king. Help me to trust in You. Amen.
* When you were a child, did you pretend to be royalty? How did you do it?
* Have you ever held an important job or role? Did the responsibilities outweigh the personal benefits?
* What does it mean for you personally, that Jesus is king?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Today's Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 30-31 Luke 8:1-25
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