Declaring Your King!
John 19:15 They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.”
Pilate gave the Jewish leaders every opportunity to declare Jesus as their King. Here he was, their Messiah and yet the rejection of him is complete and total. The absurdity of this verse and their declaration “We have no king but the emperor” is astounding. The chief priests are confessing a loyalty to Caesar which was greater than Pilate’s. He is absolutely astonished and in this statement they are not only rejecting Jesus as their Messiah, they are rejecting their God. They have declared that Caesar IS their God and in a sense are selling their birthright. They are giving away their blessing to the Christians who will come after them.
It’s easy for us to look at those religious leaders who have gone before and pass judgment but at the same time not look at ourselves critically enough. Are there more subtle ways in which we may be declaring that Caesar is Lord, instead of our Messiah?
For many today is Christmas Eve and we will go to worship services and sing about the coming of Jesus — our Messiah and King! It should be a time in which we evaluate the ways in which we are living our lives. Are we truly willing to declare Jesus as our King? Or, has life been filled with far too many options — ones which have become distractions and has there been a subtle declaration that Caesar — or the world — truly is King.
To follow the Jesus of the manger is to be counter-cultural. It means that we do not conform to the opinions and influences of the world around us. That idea made the religious leaders extremely uncomfortable and they were willing to conform, above and beyond the level of the ordinary. I believe that Christians today are being pushed to conform to the patterns of the world and some are succumbing beyond the ordinary. Just as the Chief Priests embraced their role as supporters of Caesar, there are ‘Christ-followers” who are, without thinking, supporting the world more than they are God. This may be for personal reasons or gain, or out of an innocent ignorance which has simply allowed them to become influenced by the world’s thinking.
Just as the chief priests were given the option of declaring their King, so we are given that same choice. What will we do today? It’s Christmas eve and we can declare that Jesus is our King. What will we do with that option?
Lord, may you rule as King in my life. Amen.