A Roman soldier walked before the one to be crucified with a placard on which was written the crime for which that criminal was to die. Later that description was nailed to the cross itself (Matthew 27:37).
The inscription above Jesus read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS (John 19:19). However, the Jews wanted to change it to “this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” But even the man who had yielded to the crowd to crucify Jesus whom he did not find guilty said, “What I have written, I have written (v. 22).”
Have you read this inscription? What strikes you? Can this bleeding dying man be king? That, my friend, is the point. He is king. The modern trend of coming to Jesus to get some special blessings for earthly living is a poor poor way of seeing Jesus.
That inscription above his head was written in three languages to enable a wide variety of Jews and others to read it. Yes, he is king. Even in his dying moments his majesty shone forth.
That is why one of the thieves prayed, “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom (Luke 23:42). The emphasis usually given to this incident is that it was a last minute conversion. But should not the emphasis be on the fact that the thief saw in the bleeding and broken Jesus the true King? What do you think?
Pilate had earlier asked Jesus, “What is truth (John 18:38)?” He did not wait for a reply. But the amazing thing is that in what he wrote in three languages on the inscription on the cross, truth shone out like never before:
In Aramaic (a variant of Hebrew) so that religious people will understand that Jesus is God. In Latin, so that the political empires (for then Rome ruled the world) will know that Jesus will reign for ever and ever. In Greek, so that the finest minds pursuing wisdom will know in Jesus the true wisdom of God.
The inscription was the charge against Jesus. Surprisingly, it turns out to be true. He died because he was accused of being king (see John 18:33, 37, 39; 19:3, 14, 15). He truly is. In your life, is he truly King?
Why Does Jesus Not Give Us a Glorious Vision of Himself More Often?
The Call to Die
None Like Him!
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