Reflections: Friday of the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

June 21, 2024 

Today’s Reading: John 19:1-22

Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 24:1-22; John 19:1-22

Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (John 19:19)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The circumstances of this were cosmic and eternal. Jesus is at His coronation. It’s not all the bells and whistles like you would see at Buckingham Palace. Jesus’ coronation takes place as a criminal trial. Now Pilate does his best to get Jesus off. However, it’s no use; the political situation and the religious leaders are stacked against Pilate.

Little did he know he would send the King of Kings to His throne to be unveiled for the world to see. Jesus is unlike any other king. Who, instead of a crown of jewels, wears a crown of thorns. The robe He wears is not meant to honor but to mock Him. What king would rule a people this way? What God would allow Himself to be treated this way by the ones He created? Your God does.

Jesus bears the scoffing, the mocking, and the pain of each hour of Good Friday. Then Pilate washes his hands of Jesus and delivers Him over to be crucified.

The time comes to deliver the King. Jesus, lead to the cross, like a lamb to the slaughter and uncomplaining forth He goes. Nailed to the cross lifted up high on a tree for all the world to see. Pilate’s inscription, those provocative words that make the Jewish people turn up their noses, proclaim that Jesus, Mary’s son from Nazareth, is crucified for being the King of the Jews. Cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree (Gal. 3:13), yet by Jesus’s crucifixion, His coronation is complete. Taking on your enemies of sin, death, and the devil; in death, He is victorious. The crucifixion of Jesus is not a gloomy wake but a glorious exaltation of the Lamb of God, who, by death, conquered death and rests in the tomb to rise again on Easter morning.

The circumstances were cosmic and eternal. Jesus goes to the cross for you so that you would cling to His cross as a source of light and life in the darkness of this sinful world. Risen and ascended at His Father’s right hand until He will come again in glory to take us into the life of the world to come. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

What fading flow’rs His road adorn; The palms, how soon laid down! No bloom or leaf but only thorn The King of glory’s crown. The soldiers mock, the rabble cries, The streets with tumult ring, As Pilate to the mob replies, “Behold, behold your King!”  (LSB 444,3)

– Vicar Justin Chester, Vicar at Shepherd of the City, Fort Wayne, IN

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Jonathan Lackey is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, Vine Grove, Ky.

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