Friday, April 22, 2011
King of the Jews!
Behold, the Man!
no guilt in Him
the Son of God
Behold, your King!
JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS
These are words spoken by people who had encountered Christ and did not believe Him. How much, as believers, do we not consistently believe of His revelation to us?
Is He really my King? Am I really His slave? Am I loyal? "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love." Holy Spirit, keep my heart close - keep my mind fixed on my God.
He was crucified ... for me. What do I die to for His sake? Is anything I give up really that much of a sacrifice for His sake? Holy Spirit, rip myself from me.
How will I behold Him today? Lord, give me eyes to behold You afresh, every day. May I ever behold the Only Begotten and tell of His love for me.
For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture ... I praise You that You knew it all along, that You chose this story to be Yours, that I might be Yours, too. I praise You.
... a disciple of Jesus, but secretly...
Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.
Jesus lived and died where everyone could see. His ministry, works and death were not private affairs (despite the fact that any who believed Him had a most personal encounter with Him). We saw a disciple who denied Him and now, a secret agent for Jesus.
I can't imagine how difficult those days were for Jesus or His followers. I just can't. But I do know that they were more extreme than anything I have ever walked through. And I have found myself going under-cover for Jesus rather than boldly proclaiming His Name and Fame. He did not refuse the shame nor the pain of the cross for me. He did not write this out any other way before time began. He chose the cross. He chose the suffering. He chose the separation. He chose the crown of thorns rather than keep His crown and comfort of Heaven. For me. So that I would proclaim Him (very) quietly and privately.
Our Blessed God-Man created everything in just under a week. All of history pivoted on that three day weekend where the humble Rabbi radically displayed obedience and victory. Christ Jesus openly demonstrated hope and redemption to all who would see and the masses that continue to learn of Him. How can I follow such a One secretly?
Help me in my unbelief, Lord Jesus. Help me.
One more thing which God gave me to understand from this passage regards the crown of thorns. He was crowned with thorns.
Genesis 3:18 says there will be thorns and thistles as part of the curse man received for his first act of rebellion.
Thorns and thistles are representative of the curse of sin. Jesus was crowned with them; but they were not His.
Hosea 3:8 (NIV) The high places of wickedness will be destroyed — it is the sin of Israel. Thorns and thistles will grow up and cover their altars.
(AMP) The high places also of Aven [once Beth(el), house of God, now (Beth-)aven, house of idolatry], the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed; the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their [idol] altars.
Jesus' life, death and resurrection ransomed the curse of sin from humanity and ushered in victory over sin and death. As a result, thorns and thistles, symbolic of the curse, are to cover the sinful, idolatrous places...places where the god of self is chosen over the God of the Universe. Because of the Cross, thorns are supposed to go over the abandoned, neglected, vanquished altars and high places in our lives. The cursed things. Not us. That we might live as Beth-El, the House of God.
I thank You Lord for Your amazing redemption. You have separated me from the curse. Let me live that set-apart life - Beth-El - for You. Father, I know that You are beyond time and I understand that Christ was to pay the full expense of sin on that cross; but if there is anyway You could show Him comfort throughout that entire week, please pour it out on Him. I thank You that You are Mercy and Love and Peace in addition to Judge and Righteousness. I praise You that the cost was sufficiently paid and then it was done. No lingering in the curse for Jesus.