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King of Kings

"Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews." This title written by Pilate was nailed to the cross upon which Christ died. Pilate, evidently angered at the insistence of the Jewish leaders upon the death of Christ and possibly ashamed of his own weakness in giving way to them, jested at the Jews in the words of the inscription. The leaders of the people sent back a request to Pilate that the title be altered to read, "He said, I am King of the Jews" (John 19:21), and Pilate's abrupt and angry reply, "What I have written I have written," betrayed his motive in setting up the inscription above the head of the Crucified. He implied by his words, "Behold this poor creature. He is a king, and over what a poor people does he reign!" As the reed placed in His hand was a mock scepter, as the crown of thorns upon His brow was a mock diadem, so Pilate by the inscription made the cross a mock throne.

Judah rejected her King but nowhere was He more kingly than upon the cross, and because He hung there in agony He shall someday sit upon the throne of David. He who endured the cross, despising the shame, shall reign over all nations. The brow crowned with thorns shall wear a diadem. The hand that held the reed and was nailed upon a cross shall grip a rod of iron and a scepter of power. Pilate wrote more truthfully than he knew that day, but the inscription was incomplete. God's full inscription will be written on His vesture and His thigh when He comes again in power to rule not Judah alone, but all the nations of the world as "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 19:16).

—From "As the Small Rain" by Bob Jones, Jr.

"Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe" (John 19:5). Mocking the Lord, the soldiers provided Christ three symbols of royalty: a reed for a scepter; a mocking robe of purple for the garments of sovereignty; and a crown of thorns for the royal diadem. The soldiers took back the reed and the scarlet robe, yet left the crown of thorns implanted on His head. Is it because the thorns symbolized the curse He came to break? What must Joseph and Nicodemus have thought as they removed that crown of thorns? This was our crown—He wore it for us. Some day He'll be crowned with many crowns. May we crown Him with our worship today. —Sam Thorpe