17Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha).18There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them.19And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”20The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.
21Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’ ”
22Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”
I would like to cover more verses at a time, but this is so full of meaning. Just this nugget is more than I can contemplate in one morning!
He carried his cross. Jesus had walked many many miles in his life time down many paths and roads helping and healing many many people. But this last walk was the greatest of the all. Isn’t it amazing that a life full of miracles and fame ends with such a horrible last parade. And yet, the maker of the universal carries his cross, walks to his own death, as one last miraculous gift to us all. He walked for our sins and our salvation to die in our place. Awesome!
And then Pilate, a man not versed in the spiritual ways of Jesus, places the sign that says it all on Jesus’ cross. “King Of The Jews”. Pilate recognized who Jesus was even if the religious authorities didn’t. And he wrote it in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. All this is more significant than you can imagine.
First we must consider who “the Jews” are. Up until this this moment in history the Jews were a race of people chosen by God “to be a blessing to all mankind.” Later in the New Testament Paul tells us that all who believe are adopted into this family like a branch is grafted onto a tree. He didn’t know it when he wrote it, but Pilate’s sign says that Jesus is the King of all who believe.
Then the sign is written in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Hebrew was still the official worship language of the people of God, who were then reduced to a poor nation of little importance that no one cared too much about. Greek was the language of the thoughtful and the scholarly, and the language of most great writings of the time. Latin was the language of the strong and mighty Roman empire. So the sign on that cross told everyone, the poor, the weak, the thoughtful, the well-known, and the mighty, that Jesus was the King.
Lord, thank-you for touching me this morning and showing me something I had never considered before. Thank-you for this miraculous sacrifice and your amazing word. Change me Lord, change me. *obbs*