Will you depend on your King?

   What was written, is written… in our hearts

John 19:16–42

† In Jesus Name †

May the cross convince you of the depth of God’s love for you!

The confrontation

Have you ever wondered why the chief priests were so frustrated, so needing to get Pontius Pilate to change what was on a piece of wood and nailed to the cross?

Remember – the relationship with between the priests and Pilate is already strained.  This is the same Pilate that when angered before mixed the blood of Gentiles he had put to death with the blood offering of the temple. He had backed down to the crowd, and let them have what they wanted – to crucify this man that Pilate had judged innocent.  And he did so at the risk of irritating his wife, who warned him to have nothing to do with Jesus.  With Pilate already on edge, with a temper that was infamous, the chief priests approached Pilate and told him to change the words.

His answer was a quick dismissal – but spoke to his authority, and to a truth that Pilate testified to…

What I have written, I have written.

End of scene.

Whether he meant it to mock the priests, whether he meant it to mock Jesus, no matter what Pilate’s reason, he actually bore witness to the truth.

Jesus is the King of the Jews, He is the long awaited Messiah, the promised glorious one of Israel – the one whom in even the gentiles find hope.

But why were the priests so… insistent? Brave? Demanding?

Could it have to do with what Pilate recognized, and the reason he was inspired to use this particular word to describe Jesus?

The Meaning of Basileus

The King, the one who preached that the Kingdom of God is with you – who sent others to preach the Kingdom of God is near, Do we get what it means for Jesus to be King of the Jews?

Here is the most important point – it has less to do with authority or responsibility – and far more to do with…. Responsibility.

The kind of responsibility a parent has, when their child breaks a neighbor’s window, or when their child is threatened, or hurt.  Someone who is King has responsibility for His subjects.  The one who makes things right, at whatever personal cost.

Such is the idea of kingship, such is the concept of leadership in scripture.  It is about providing for the people of the kingdom, about being responsible for their welfare, because it has been entrusted to you.

For the priests – this is not just counter to their own ministry style, where lording it over people was evident, but contrary to the kind of relationship they wanted with God.  The last thing they wanted was God’s personal involvement in their stuff, cleaning up after their act.

It’s sort of like a teenagers reaction to his father and mother deciding to clean the teenager’s room.  “it’s clean enough, it doesn’t need to be cleaned – and the embarrassment that comes when the pizza from a month ago is found under the bed.  Or some really worrisome thing is found on their computer. We get too easily embarrassed when we realize our need for dependence on God to clean up our lives, to be the only One who can be responsible for our sin.

Because it can’t be us…. We just can’t do it.  We, just like the priests who demanded Pilate remove the sign proclaiming Jesus to be the King, desperately need Him to be our King!  We desperately need Him to provide, to care for us, to take responsibility for our sins, for our errors, for that which divides us from God.

And He did….

to the extent that even Pilate recognized it.  Pilate who declared Jesus to be innocent.  Who washed his hands of the case, who yet still delivered Christ to the place where He would take up the responsibility for us, for our actions, for our sin.

Rejoice my friends, find not sorrow in this moment, but the deepest joy.  Because in Christ, we find our lives… cleansed, provided for, loved. And at peace, for

17 Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. 18 All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also. 19 Our message is that God was making all human beings his friends through Christ. God did not keep an account of their sins, and he has given us the message which tells how he makes them his friends. 20 Here we are, then, speaking for Christ, as though God himself were making his appeal through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf: let God change you from enemies into his friends! 21 Christ was without sin, but for our sake God made him share our sin in order that in union with him we might share the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (TEV)

Amen!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on March 29, 2013, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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