During this Lenten season we’ve been talking about unexpected prophets of the passion. Individuals who spoke the truth concerning God’s Way of salvation yet they were unaware of it. Today we consider the Roman soldiers.
There’s certainly no love lost between Romans and Jews during Jesus day. The Jews despised the Romans as oppressive, ones that had come into their country and we’re now ruling over them. The Romans on the other hand considered the Jews weak and powerless. They’re forced to go out there and maintain order in this newly acquired Roman region.
So it’s a bit ironic when the Jews have to come to the Romans to get their way to have Jesus executed. And yet they know that the reason that they want to execute Jesus is not going to stand up in a Roman Court. The reason they believe Jesus worthy of death was because of blasphemy, that he claimed to be God, but they knew the only way the Romans would listen is if they actually brought a charge that would threaten their power and so they say the reason he should be executed is because Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, the king of the Jews, a king threatening the rule of the Romans.
So this had gotten out that Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews. Most certainly had gotten out even to the Roman soldiers and so when Pilate passes off Jesus to them they decide to have a little fun with it. Okay this is your king Jews? We’ll make him look like a king. They put a kingly garb around his shoulders, pressed the crown of thorns into his head, get a fake scepter to place in his hand, a reed, and they bow down with sarcasm dripping from their lips hail King of the Jews.
And yet what they spoke was the absolute truth that even though he didn’t look like it, even though they couldn’t see it, Jesus was precisely that: the King of the Jews. In fact even more the King of kings and Lord of lords our King.
In Colossians chapter 1 verse 13 and Paul writes
The Father rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)
Yes he is our King. Our King through whom we have Redemption and forgiveness of sins. Yes hail King of the Jews, hail our King. Amen.