10/26/M – Jesus the King

2 Samuel 15:23-16:4; John 18:25-19:22; Psalms 119:105-112; Proverbs 26:13-16

NT: “Then Pilate went back into the headquarters, summoned Jesus, and said to him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about me? …My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.” “You are a king then?” Pilate asked. “You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” “What is truth?” said Pilate. After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no grounds for charging him.” …Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged… Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I’m bringing him out to you to let you know I find no grounds for charging him.” “…We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever. He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer. So Pilate said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you know that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you?” “You would have no authority over me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.” From that moment Pilate kept trying to release him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!” …It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about noon. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!” …Then he handed him over to be crucified. Then they took Jesus away… Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (‭‭John‬ ‭18:33-34, 36-38; ‭19:1, 4, 7-12, 14, 16, 19‬ ‭CSB)

When Jesus stood trial before the Jewish religious leaders and Pilate, the accusations against Him were his claim to be a king and His claim to be the Son of God. The charge that the religious leaders brought before Pilate was Jesus’ claim to kingship. It was His kingship that was on trial. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was a king, Jesus responded, “It is as you say.” But then Jesus turned the question around to Pilate asking, “Do you wanting to know about my kingship? What kind of king do you think I am?” Jesus then affirmed His kingship and explained that His kingdom was not an earthly kingdom… and that He came to earth to testify to the truth of the Kingdom of God. Multiple times, Pilate declared that he found no grounds for charging Jesus… that He found Jesus innocent. But to appease the Jews, Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion. His “crime” was that He was the King of the Jews. Jesus was not found guilty of doing wrong… He was found guilty of being the long awaited Messiah the King of the Jews. The Day of Preparation was the day before the Sabbath of Passover. On that day, the lambs for the Passover feast were slaughtered. While the Passover lambs were being slaughtered to commemorated God’s deliverance of the Jews from captivity, Jesus the Lamb of God was being slaughtered on a cross to deliver all of mankind from sin.

Psalms: “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. I have solemnly sworn to keep your righteous judgments. I am severely afflicted; Lord, give me life according to your word. Lord, please accept my freewill offerings of praise, and teach me your judgments. My life is constantly in danger, yet I do not forget your instruction. The wicked have set a trap for me, but I have not wandered from your precepts. I have your decrees as a heritage forever; indeed, they are the joy of my heart. I am resolved to obey your statutes to the very end.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:105-112‬ ‭CSB)

This stanza of Psalm 119 is very well known because of the first verse, “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” When everything around us is darkness, if we live our lives according to God’s word, we will not stumble, nor will we get lost. God’s Word lights up what is immediately around us so that we can clearly see the snares and pitfalls that could hinder our progress. It also shines a light ahead of us so that we can clearly see the path that we are to walk on. When I juxtapose the story of Jesus’ trial onto this section of Psalm 119, I see that Jesus was a fulfillment of this scripture. He lived His entire life according to God’s word… for He was the Word. He never did anything unless the Father was doing it… He never said anything unless the Father was saying it. All the while, the religious leaders around Him were in complete blinding darkness. When they tried to set traps for Jesus, He never faltered… He never twisted the truth… He never strayed from The Father’s word, will, and ways. Even though His very life was threatened, He was resolved to obey the Father’s words to the very end. And because of that, Jesus, Who was obedient even to death, has been glorified as the King above all kings.

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