The King Of The Jews
Daily Devotion for Lent | Saturday, March 24, 2018
Read John 19:18-22.
Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (John 19:19)
When the Romans crucified someone, they often put a notice on the cross over the criminal’s head. This was called the “titulus,” and it was there to tell everybody what crime was being punished.
When Pilate wrote the inscription to post over Jesus’ head, he did it in three languages— Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. He wanted to be sure as many people as possible would be able to read it, no matter which local language they spoke. All three phrases said the same thing: “the King of the Jews.”
Jesus’ notice marked Him as a rebel against the Roman government. Pilate knew it was a lie, of course; he knew Jesus was innocent. But by posting those words over Jesus’ head, Pilate had the chance to insult the Jewish leaders who had maneuvered him so successfully into executing a man he didn’t want to kill. And so all unknowingly, Pilate gave Jesus His true title.
Because of course that is exactly what Jesus is: the Lord God Himself, the King of the Jews, the King of Israel. God claimed this title for Himself long ago, in the days of Moses and of Samuel (Deuteronomy 33:5; 1 Samuel 8:7). Pilate wrote more truly than he realized.
This is our King—the God who chose Abraham long ago to create a people belonging to Him; the Lord who taught them patiently what it meant to belong to a holy yet merciful God; the Savior who laid down His own life in order to save us all. And now He is not King of the Jews only, but the risen King of heaven and earth—Jesus, our Savior.
THE PRAYER: You are our Servant King, who died and rose again to save us. Thank You. Amen.
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About These Devos
SILENT WITNESSES Lenten Devotions 2018
For Christians, the season of Lent is marked by deep reflection on the appearance of the Savior and, naturally, what His life, suffering, death, and resurrection mean for our lives now. God’s human involvement in our world is a perfect example of His intimate love for us. He spared nothing to make Himself known to us—a fact that proclaims in no uncertain terms how “God so loved the world.” In Silent Witnesses, readers will note both the majestic—and mundane—aspects of the Gospel accounts: stories telling how God in His infinite power came down and “has spoken to us by His Son.”
Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.