So then, because of them, he handed Him over to be crucified. Therefore they took Jesus away. Carrying His own cross, He went out to what is called Skull Place, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified Him and two others with Him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had a sign lettered and put on the cross. The inscription was:
JESUS THE NAZARENE THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews, ’ but that He said, ‘I am the King of the Jews. ’”
Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.”
Like Isaac of old, Jesus carried to the top of the hill the very wood he was about to be crucified on. He did this willingly, like Isaac; he did this without resistance. He was lifted up in between two sinners so that this might be a picture of Jesus being the savior of sinners. Jesus is the king of the Jews!
But wait, Jesus is the king of more than just the Jews right? Do you find it strange that there is so much attention in this story given to the sign above Jesus’ head and it’s inscription? I do too. The sign was written in three different languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. This is a picture of the gospel going forth to all nations. The sign also reflected no lie, it was true; for thus Jesus is glorified even in this inscription. The Jews did not want the sign to say that he is THE KING OF THE JEWS, but that he thinks he is the king of the Jews. Pilate refuses the Jews complaints, and thus does one good act amidst this flurry of sinfulness.
Jesus is reminding us again of his command to us in Luke 9:23
Then He said to them all, “if anyone wants to come with me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
- This is the cost of discipleship. Are you willing to carry whatever cross Jesus appoints for you?
- What is the sign that you carry over your life? What can those around you know about you by the way you act, dress, and move about this world? Do people know that you follow the crucified and risen Christ?