Scripture Reading:  John 19:12-16

“Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover.  It was about the sixth hour.  He said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’  They cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!’    Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your king?’  The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’  So he delivered Him over to them to be crucified.”  (John 19:14-16)

Pilate did not want to deal with Jesus.  He told the Jews that he found no guilt in Him,  but the Jewish leaders kept insisting that Pilate condemn Jesus to death.  They wanted to get rid of Him, for He challenged their teachings and rejected their false approach to salvation.  The chief priests and Pharisees  insisted that people could only be justified by strict obedience to the law of Moses.  Jesus was a threat to them because He offered good news of grace, mercy and forgiveness.

The Jewish leaders used whatever means they could to get rid of Jesus .  They told Pilate, “We have not king but Caesar.”  This was contrary to what they really believed.  The Jews hated the Romans.  They were looking for a king who would come to free them from the reign of Caesar.  Yet, it was to their advantage to be politically correct.  By their words, these Jewish leaders betrayed their national heritage, which insisted that God alone was their true King.  And they also denied their Messianic hope, that God’s Anointed Messiah would come to deliver them.

Pilate brought Jesus before them and declared, “Behold your King.”  Pilate was absolutely correct.  Standing before him and the angry crowd was the King of all kings.  Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world (John 19:36).  The people failed to understand all the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah.  They failed to understand that the Messiah would come to free the people from their bondage to sin.  King Jesus stood before them, bloody and condemned.  The King had come to deliver His people.  Yet, they rejected Him.

King Jesus, You came to set me free from my bondage to sin.  You came to conquer Your enemies and to defend me.  I bow before You and submit to Your reign over my life.


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