Here’s just a thought (79)…
TV news seems to present an ever increasing number of Legal Court cases, criminal, fraud, terrorist, murder. You name it, all manner of tragic XXI century life is dramatically displayed in your living room.
Jesus was tried for three crimes. They presented these crimes to Pontius Pilate as follows (Luke 23:2):
· To get people to riot.
· Stop paying taxes.
· The claim that He was the Messiah, or King.
As you follow the trials, the first two charges are quickly dropped. They are dropped for the simple fact that they weren’t true. Jesus had never incited a riot and had encouraged the people to pay their taxes. The third accusation, however, became the “crime” that Jesus would confess to and would pay for with his life.
As you read through the sequence events, you realize that the term Messiah or Christ is synonymous with the term “king”. The people knew that Jesus was a king. When Jesus came into Jerusalem, Jesus’ disciples fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah by proclaiming his kingship. The whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:37-40).
In the Jewish trial, Jesus remains silent until the High Priest invokes the name of God. In these circumstances Jesus confesses that he is indeed a king.
“Tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. (Matthew 26:62-64)
When questioned by Pontius Pilate, Jesus again freely confesses to being a king.
“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:36-37)
Jesus’ crime is plastered above his head when he is crucified. What is interesting the Jews’ response. The passage reads:
JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” (John 19:19-21)
The Jewish religious leaders did not acknowledge Jesus as their king. They claimed Caesar as their king (John 19:15). The Jews did acknowledge that Jesus claimed to be a king.
We have then this testimony. The disciples declared that Jesus was a king. Pilate said Jesus was a king. The Jews said that Jesus claimed to be a king. Jesus not only said he was a king but was willing to die rather than deny this fact.
The disciples of Christ would face similar consequences as did Jesus for declaring his Kingship. We have this testimony in Acts (Acts 17:6-7).
How is it then that some today who claim to be followers of Christ deny that Jesus is a king and like the Pharisees try to stop others from proclaiming it? Jesus was willing to die for this truth. In fact, he DID die for this truth!
Here are Jesus’ own words for which he died!
“I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (John 18:37)
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (1 John 4:14)
Jesus is promised to return to this earth and to sit as King on God’s throne in Jerusalem.
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