“And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led Him away and delivered Him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And He answered him, ‘You have said so.’ And the chief priests accused Him of many things. And Pilate again asked Him, ‘Have You no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against You.’ But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.” (Mark 15:1-5 ESV)
It’s pretty clear that Pilate’s time with Jesus was centered around one charge only: “Are You the King of the Jews?” That is the only question Jesus was willing to answer with a polite first-century way of saying “Yes.” The other charges didn’t matter, and Jesus didn’t dignify them with an answer. But King of the Jews? That mattered.
To Pilate, the question probably meant “Are You an upstart political leader who is planning to rebel against the Roman Empire?” Pilate was a practical man; he wanted to know if he was facing another rebellion.
But to Jesus? The Old Testament makes it very clear who the King of the Jews, the King of Israel, was: God Himself. God calls Himself by this Name several times: “I am the Lord, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King” (Isaiah 43:15 ESV). (See also Isaiah 44:6, Zephaniah 3:15). Is Jesus this King? Oh yes! He is the Lord who rules everything—and who will give up everything to save His people, even when they reject Him.
This is the King we have—a King who reigns from the cross, whose crown is made of thorns and whose royal robes are His own blood. He is our King as well, whether we are Jews or Gentiles. And He has become our Savior.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I acknowledge that You are my King and my Savior. Amen.
* What are kings supposed to do? What are they like?
* How is Jesus like those ideas? How is He different from those ideas?
* What does it mean to you, that Jesus is your King and your Ruler?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Reprinted from Lutheran Hour Ministries
(To view the entire “Lenten Devotions” mini-series, please click here.)