Sunday Rest and Reflection: The Crucified King!
Dear friends and followers of Jesus Christ,
Greetings on this the Lord’s day! It is another beautiful day to gather with God’s people and worship! Jesus is risen! He is the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords! He is the ‘first fruits’ from the grave, having conquered death and hell! That great swallower of mankind choked on the King of Life and had to let Him go!
As I reflect back on the readings of this last week, I am again drawn to Mark’s account of the crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus had lived, taught, and performed many outstanding miracles among His own people. When He was arrested in the night by the temple police and brought before the Sanhedrin, the High Priest, Caiaphas, asked Jesus if He was the Christ. Jesus simply said, “I am”. (Mark 14:62a) Before Pilate, Jesus was asked if He was the king of the Jews and He replied, “Yes, it is as you say.” (Mark 15:2) Pilate asked the crowd, what shall I do with the “king of the Jews?” “Crucify Him!” was their reply! (Mark 15:12-13) The sign over his cross read: “The King of the Jews”. (Mark 15:25) The crowd taunted Him on the cross asking this “King of Israel” to demonstrate his power by coming down off the cross. (Mark 15:32)
I can’t seem to get this idea of the King being crucified by His own people out of my mind. How could someone who did only good and demonstrated only love to His people be rejected and treated in such a shameful way? What kind of love is this on the part of this King, that He would be willingly crucified for those who would treat Him so shamefully? How can He now show this love to me when I have also treated Him shamefully? What would I be doing now if He had come down from that cross?
But He stayed on that cross! He died a sacrificial death, demonstrating for all ages the heart of the God we are called to love and serve. He rose from the dead and conquered the grave, death and hell! He now calls each of His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him! We go to our death each day to live in His fullness! We are also victors over death and hell through Him who loved us! What a miracle of love! Help me to understand it better, Lord! Help me to live it out by faith!
In His Love, Pastor John