The King of the Jews
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
It was the usual custom of the Romans, when a man was put to death by crucifixion, to affix to the cross, somewhere where it might be read, an account of his life. His name and title would be given, and the accusation that had been brought against him, so that all who passed by might read the reason why he had been put to such an ignominious death. Our Savior, therefore, being numbered with the transgressors, must be treated in all respects as they were. If their accusations were published, so must He have His accusation published among the sons of men. How wondrous was the condescension that He, whom all heaven adored as the ever-blessed Son of the Highest, should be hanged upon a tree, and that He should have His accusation written up over His head just as if He had been a common malefactor.
I wish we could realize both the dignity of His person and the shame to which He was exposed. If we could realize this we would be filled with grief for Him, and with thankfulness to Him that He condescended to die the death of the cross. I wish it were possible for us now to stand at the foot of the cross with Mary, and John, and the other disciples, and to hear the ribaldry and scorn for a moment, and then to look up, and see that sorrowful face, and that tortured body, and to read, in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." It was a very remarkable thing that Pilate should have written, as Matthew and Luke say that he did, "This is the King of the Jews," and we do not at all wonder that the chief priests said to Pilate, "Write not, the King of the Jews; but that He said, I am King of the Jews." But Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
Divine providence always has its way. It matters not who may be the persons concerned, God knows how to work His own will with them. It was His purpose that His Son should not die upon the cross without a public proclamation ...
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