“Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’” John [19:19]
In a horrific effort of ridicule, Jesus was rightly identified as the messianic ruler that offers life to the entire world.
About 500 years earlier, the prophet Isaiah had described the coming Messiah in apparently contradicting ways. He described him as a Prince of Peace on the throne of David (Isaiah 9:7). He later described him as a lamb led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). The inscription above the cross connected the two descriptions. As King, he conquered the greatest enemy–sin and death. As the slaughtered lamb, he satisfied the wrath of God by taking on himself the sins of the world. Calling this crucified man “the King of the Jews” inadvertently connected this confusing messianic identity.
Amid the beauty of the Christmas season, take time to humbly thank our King for giving himself for our redemption. He willingly accepted shame, rejection, and death so that our sin could be punished. He saw past the cross to the victory we would experience because of it.
Jesus, your sacrifice was greater than I can comprehend. As King, you served me to the point of death on the cross. I embrace your cleansing and your authority. I welcome you as King of my life! Amen.