The Crucifixion - Points to Christ’s Sovereign Love - John 19:19-21 
April 6, 2022, 8:38 AM

19   Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.  20   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.  21   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."    

A sign above the cross was not uncommon when one was crucified. The custom of the Romans was to put the particular individual’s crime above the criminal's head as a public example for people to see to prevent others from murder, or robbery, or revolting. The Jews accused Jesus of claiming to be a king. Pilate examination was fruitless and did not want the responsibility for Jesus’ death, so he had written in reaction to their insistence, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”                

The Jewish leaders wanted it to say, “He says he is the King of the Jews.”, but since Pilate hardly got his way in anything else, at least in this he was not going to back down. Pilate had it written in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.   

Actually, Pilate obtained no earthly benefit from this decision. The church Father, Eusebuis, quoted form Greek historians said that Pilate fell out of favor with his superiors and committed suicide before 40 AD, less than 10 years after this fateful decree.  

God in His power saw to it that the sign was placed up there identifying for the world and for all, in the three known languages in that area, who it was on the cross and why. He was King. The title in the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, also implied that all people who could read would know. It was for more than Jewish eyes. The significance of the cross is not just to recognize Jesus as Savior, the One to save us from our sins, but also as King. He is Lord. We are to obey Him in all areas of our lives.                

James Boice tells us that Hebrew is the language of the religious community, implying He is the King of all religions. Greek is the language of the sciences, cultures, wars, and philosophy. These are the areas of our lives that are to be subject to His ruler ship. Latin is the language of the law and government. God in Christ is the law giver and One to be obeyed.                 

Perhaps it was this sign that caused one thief to ponder his own crucifixion that he was suffering for his own sins, but Jesus indeed was an innocent man. Perhaps it was that sign that was the tool to bring the thief to conviction and salvation realizing who Jesus was. Jesus is our King. He is to be Sovereign.              

The details were planned long ago. Christ accepted His Father’s sovereign control.                 

Application:  Is He king of your heart, of your hand, of your mouth, of your body, of your soul, spirit, and mind? He left His glory to demonstrate His sovereign love.   Today, take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  He is King over all.

Prayer:   My faith looks up to Thee, Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, Take all my guilt away, Oh, let me from this day, Be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart Strength to my fainting heart, My zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, Oh, may my love to Thee  - Pure, warm, and changeless be, A living fire!   

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