FRIDAY, APRIL 6
He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”
John 19:14-15 ESV
FREED BY THE TRUTH: THE REBELLION
Some of you will remember the 2006 film Talladega Nights starring Will Ferrell as Ricky Bobby. And you will also remember Ricky Bobby praying to “Dear Lord baby Jesus.” While the scene may have been humorous, it could easily be seen as mocking and minimizing the significance of who Jesus is. During Jesus’ crucifixion, Jesus was mocked, and His significance was minimized. The Roman soldiers used to play a game with the prisoners who were waiting to be crucified. Philo, in his work on Flaccus, tells us of a game that a mob in Alexandria would play with the mentally challenged. They would catch them and dress them up like kings. Then they would sit them down and mock worship them. And that’s exactly what happened to Jesus.
Pilate presented Jesus to the Jews as their King but they refused to acknowledge Jesus as their King. Dictionary.com defines the act of rebellion this way: To oppose or resist with boldness and assurance: To refuse to submit to or cooperate with. Albert Camus asked, “What is a rebel? A man who says no.” The irony is that God would use the rebellion of the Jews to die for the sins of the world and make it possible for us to be set free from the penalty and bondage of our sins.
Our human nature often resists anyone telling us what to do. We want to be our own king and to rule over our own lives. That is why the gospel of Christ is so often rejected. For Jesus said very plainly, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Self-denial is the very opposite of self-rule. To be Christ’s disciple means that you come to the end of yourself and the mastery of your life. You end your rule over your passions and lusts, over your mind and thoughts, over your desires and ambitions. This only comes through repentance into a humble submission to Jesus Christ as your King.
Is God the King of your life? Are you currently rebelling against God in any area of your life? If so, confess it to Jesus and ask Him to be King in all areas of your life.