Day of Maundy Thursday
Scripture: St. John 19:13-24 (NKJV)
19:13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour.
And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!”
15 But 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!”
16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus and led Him away. 17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.
19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”‘”
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece.
24 They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,”
that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says:
“They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things.
Jesus came preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This kingdom at hand was His own. He came to conquer His enemy, the Serpent, and make all believers His own by His death on the cross.
The Jews praised Jesus as He came into Jerusalem on a donkey. They cried “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!” (John 12:13). And the Pharisees despaired because the people had gone after Him.
Later Satan and his seed would sway the crowds to denounce Jesus and follow their lead as they pandered to a faithless earthly kingdom. But in spite of the sinfulness of man, Jesus Christ was the true King, and whether they embraced Him or not, He came to offer them grace, mercy, and peace in His sacrifice. Even if the Jews rejected Him, He came to be their king, and He was in fact the Son of David, who fulfilled the psalms that were written by the former king of Israel.
The world today still clings to its earthly kingdoms, and people are still fickle toward Christ. Sometimes people praise Jesus because they think it makes them pious, or because they want His help, but the same people can forget about Him, or even mock Him, soon after. Thanks be to God that He shows us His mercy in Jesus Christ, the King of kings, and grants us His Word and Spirit so that we may be made part of His kingdom through repentance and faith in Him.
We pray: O Lord God, by Your Word and Spirit make us truly faithful, and keep us steadfast as members of Your heavenly kingdom; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.