It was a tensed atmosphere at the Fortress Antonia in upper Jerusalem. The Roman governor stood face to face with a Jewish nobody, this ‘nobody’ was already bruised and battered by part of the mob that stood outside. The governor asked this ‘nobody’ a question, a question he would have been least bothered to ask anyone else.
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
The Kingship of Jesus is unanimously declared across the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament Daniel proclaims to king Nebuchadnezzar of a coming kingdom which will endure forever (Daniel 2:44). In the New Testament Paul the apostle, bound inside a dark dungeon, boldly proclaims Jesus as the ‘King of kings’ (1 Timothy 6:15).
“Are you the King of the Jews?” The Roman governor asks. Outside, the mob grows increasingly impatient; some want the young innocent Jew to live while others, outraged, want him to die an animal’s death. Among those who want him dead are the Sanhedrin – high priests – men of great power, great knowledge, and great prestige.
“We have no king but Caesar.”
King! What comes to your mind when you think of that word? What image? Alexander, Napoleon, Caesar… all of these men were known to be rulers, great rulers. But these men were also known to be brutal, relentless, unforgiving, savage, haughty, insecure, timid, and last but not least, dead!
Then there are the puppet rulers, those who are kings only in name and end up doing the bidding of others. And there are the figurehead monarchs, whose pictures and deeds would be on the tabloids, like the ones in modern Britain, but whose authority would be of no value whatsoever.
“… no king but Caesar”, cried the Sanhedrin.
Indeed, the unbelieving world has no king but Caesar. But what of the churches with rulers who act as ‘proxy’ between clergy and laity, between God and God’s children? Most churches today get so carried away by these ‘church celebrities’ that they tend to forget about the King himself. Recently, a pastor of a ‘megachurch’ had the audacity to have someone crown him ‘king’ of the church!
Who is the real King? Who is the absolute ruler? Who is the one whose kingdom would last forever?
Enter the King of kings. When you became a follower of Jesus Christ you became a subject to your only King. You became a subject to the one who redefined the word ‘Kingship’. Imagine a King – meek and humble, loving, caring, gentle, patient, nurturing, and calling his subjects to be his own. Sounds more like a father, yet that is the King we worship! Imagine a King – wrapping a towel around his waist and getting down to wash the feet of his subjects. Sounds more like a servant, yet that is the King we proclaim! Imagine a King – crowned not with silver and gold, but with a crown of thorns. What? Imagine a King ready to die, and died he did, for his subjects. That is insane! No, that’s King Jesus – the real King, the absolute ruler, and King forevermore.
Here is a King ready to share the sufferings and agony of his subjects. Here is a King who would take the consequences of our sickening thoughts and actions. In this world we often associate the word ‘King’ to a man who has elevated himself above everyone else. Jesus changed all that. He not only redefined the word ‘King’, but he also showed his followers how to be true subjects. He showed us how to be true subjects in this age when men love to ‘lord it over the flock’. In him we have the revolutionized image of the King – not the ‘megachurch’ king – but the serving King. The King who showed how to serve.
“Are you the King of the Jews?” Pilate asked.
“IT IS AS YOU SAY.” Jesus replied.