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With Holy Week before us, there is a moment in one part of it I cannot get out of my head –or my soul.


But, before I get to that moment, it needs to be put into the context of the whole Biblical timeline, which is of course, the timeline of eternity. Please bear with me as I start way back in 1 Samuel 8 where the prophet Samuel has become old and his sons are doing a miserable job of leading Israel because they refuse to be led by the LORD.


And so, the people of Israel cry out and they want a king. Samuel is displeased because, up until this point, the LORD was their king. He listens to the LORD and tells the people all the things a king will do to subjugate them and rule over them. In 1 Samuel 8: 19-20, it says: 


“But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.” (NLT)


So God gives the people what they want and they end up with a tall chap named Saul who does a great job of leading battles against the Philistines. Eventually, Saul gets all full of himself and just kind of eases into being a little more important (in his own mind) than God himself until he’s actually insane.


This eventually leads to David being king and, despite having some serious moral and familial problems, is mostly loved by the people of Israel. Well, except for his son, who wanted to kill him so he could be king.


This kind of intrigue and drama goes on for about nine centuries until we come to Jesus. At the time, a guy named Herod was king of Judea, who led a ruthless life of no less drama than any other king, and was –for all intents and purposes, in charge of keeping the people of Israel in line as tax-paying subjects of Rome. 


So, up until this point, the people of Israel’s cry for a king, which God in His limitless grace had granted, was really not working out so well for them. 


All during this time period, the Jews had been praying three times a day for the Messiah to come. He is often referred to as melekh mashiach which means “King Messiah.” This King Messiah would preside over  and rule a powerful, peaceful, prosperous kingdom of Israel with all the other kingdoms of the world under its rule.


After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the people thought Jesus was that King.


By Good Friday, He had been arrested, beaten, and stood before Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler of Israel, answering questions about His Kingdom: (John 18:33-36 NLT)


“Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”


And, in that moment, Pilate missed the big picture. He was right, he was not a Jew, but at that moment he had the opportunity to look past his temporary, earthly problem of whether he had an insurrectionist on his hands for which he would have to answer to Rome, or whether the man before him was God Himself.


Pilate correctly surmised that Jesus was no threat to Rome, and he tried to release Jesus. He presented Jesus to the crowd and went so far as to argue with them because Jesus had done nothing to make Him worthy of execution. And, when he questioned why they would have him execute their king, (John 19:15c NLT)


“We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back. 


And that is the moment that keeps rolling around in my head.


They accuse Jesus of blasphemy, of claiming to be God, and then in what can only be described as treason against God Himself, they deny not just the Kingship of Jesus, but of God as their King. They were mistaken about the true identity of Jesus, but in their fervor and bloodlust to kill Him, they deny God as King. 


Jesus died on the cross that day with a sign over His head proclaiming Him as King of the Jews –in three languages, so that no one would doubt who He was. And Pilate refused to change that sign and the message that it bore. (John 19:21)


After all those centuries of clamoring for the perfect King, of trying to elevate their nation and their identity by the man who ruled them, of praying three times a day for the Messiah King, they could not recognize Him or understand Him when He stood in their midst –because they were more interested in what they wanted than in the real glory the King of Universe had in store for them.


And I wonder if I and the rest of Christendom will ever fully understand and fully surrender all of who we are and fully grant all of our allegiance to the One True King, because it seems there is always a little part of us that wants to be our own king, to rule our own lives. 


King Jesus, come rule and reign over all that I am. Help me to fully surrender to you and fully trust in you, my Glorious King! 





Today’s Praise

Revelation 19:16

On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. (NLT)

Free King The Crown photo and picture

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Katie Grev says:

    It’s easy to criticize and wonder why oh why didn’t they recognize Jesus as their King. Then I have to look inward and I recognize Him as my King?

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