During this Lenten season we’ve been talking about unexpected prophets of the passion. Individuals that speak the truth of God’s Way of salvation even though most of them were unaware. Today we consider Pilate.
Pilate despised the Jews for what they made him do. He knew Jesus was innocent, he knew he shouldn’t be executed, but they forced his hand.
And so, very much so out of spite for the Jews, Pilate has a sign made to hang above Jesus head while he’s hanging from the cross. Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews. The Jewish leaders bristle at this. “Don’t write King of the Jews, but that he claimed to be King of the Jews.” However, Pilate responds to them “what I have written, I have written.”
So the sign stood for all to see above Jesus head as he’s dying on the cross “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” Even though the Jews themselves did not believe it, Pilate certainly did not believe it, yet the truth stood, that this was the Messiah the one long foretold in the Jewish Scriptures, one that Zechariah had spoken of in his ninth chapter when he said
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
Just a few days prior Jesus had entered into Jerusalem with the crowds welcoming him with palm branches and with their songs of praise hailing him as their king. And now he still remained their king, very much so, carrying out his plan of salvation that had been foretold of the Messiah.
Yes we see it is true Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews, the Messiah long foretold, our Savior as well. Amen.