No Ordinary Name Tag
'The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it. Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”' John 19:20-21
Ever wonder if God is still for you when everything seems to be against you? Ever feel like God is not in charge of your circumstances when it’s going awry and awful? If I imagine myself as Jesus’ disciple witnessing Him carry that heavy cross, trudging along toward impending death, and being nailed to the cross in excruciating pain, I might have missed the clues left by our Father who was still working behind the scenes.
For example, even as Jesus hung on that tree, His identity was never compromised. It was customary the condemned wear a placard giving the name and nature of his crime. Jesus' only crime was to be the King of the Jews, where He also humbly identified with lowly Nazareth. Pilate thought he had the power to dictate Jesus’ destiny but didn’t realize he was being used as God’s pawn in the process. The Pharisees reacted toward Pilate’s order to “crucify your king” saying “We have no king but Caesar.” They were adamant against associating with Jesus in anyway. So they pleaded with Pilate to change his title to “He said, I am the King of the Jews.” How ridiculous!
Although the war at the cross was for the sins of the world, the battle was against religion, where Jesus spoke out so openly. The Pharisees promoted religion because they could use its laws to condemn and control others. However, we know “… the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6) And although God’s laws were written to expose sin, they were inept in bringing about a redeemed life. The Pharisees were only concerned with regulation and containment to please their selfish agendas. Jesus death and resurrection would usher in the age of personal relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit, and bring life to all who believe.
Not only was Jesus the King of the Jews, that title above His head was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, signifying He came to give life and establish relationship for all peoples. All this shows the Father was in control all along, preserving Jesus’ authority, identity and purpose. So no matter what you go through in life, or where the journey takes you, be clear on your identity and commission. And as I recently spoke on, “Be assured of your alignment and aware of your assignment.”