Jesus is King

It is ironic that Jesus is the crucified king.  It is ironic that Pontius Pilate should acknowledge that Jesus is King of the Jews probably to spite the Jews.  In so doing the man who asked, “What is truth?” declares a very important truth.  The King of the Jews is lifted up in John and glorified through crucifixion.  For John, things are not what they seem.  For John there are layers of meaning.  The quality of the tomb is also important when understanding that Jesus is king.  The tomb that a crucified victim would usually be thrown in would be an inglorious hole outside the walls of the city.  Wild animals might even ravage the body.  Jesus is placed by a wealthy man in an unused tomb.  This again marks that there is something distinct about Jesus.

When we look at the sign that Pilate placed over Jesus’ head, it was written in Greek, Aramaic, and Latin.  Jesus was announced as the king to all the peoples of the known world.  In other words, Jesus is not just the King of the Jews but he is raised up as the universal king.  This foreshadows the spread of the gospel through Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.  For John, this death on the cross is no sad defeat but it is the ironic triumph of a conquering king who completes his work for his subjects.

John 19:16b-42

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

 22Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

 23When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

 24“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”

   This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,

   “They divided my clothes among them
   and cast lots for my garment.”[a]

   So this is what the soldiers did.

 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[b] here is your son,” 27and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus

 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

 31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”[c] 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”[d]

The Burial of Jesus

 38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.[e] 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Questions

  1. Which facts in John’s account point to Jesus as king?
  2. Why does John tell us that Jesus legs were not broken; a hyssop branch was used; and that Jesus’ blood flowed out?
  3. Who secretly followed Jesus?
  4. What do you understand as the rights of a king?  What are Jesus’ rights?
  5. What does this passage have to say about those who follow Jesus in secret fear?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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15 Responses to Jesus is King

  1. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Verses 19, 21-22 point to Jesus as king. Verse 19 is where Pilate placed the sign above Jesus saying, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”. Verses 21 and 22 are when the chief priests ask Pilate to change the sign, but Pilate refuses.
    2. John tells us that Jesus’ legs were not broken, a hyssop branch was used, and that Jesus’ blood flowed out in order to fulfill the Scriptures (Psalm 22:18, Exodus 12:46).
    3. Joseph of Arimathea secretly followed Jesus (v. 38).
    4. The rights of a king are to rule over his people, lead them in the way that God instructs him to, and be an example for his people of a follower of God. Jesus’ rights are all of these, plus being king over all the kings of the world.
    5. This passage says that people who follow Jesus in secret fear governments and authorities that are not Godly. Just like Joseph feared Pilot, this passage suggests that people who follow Jesus in secret will not have confidence in Christ that those who openly follow Him have,

  2. Kerri Klingsmith says:

    1. Which facts in John’s account point to Jesus as king?
    The fact that Pilat wrote the phrase “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” so that everyone might read it points to Jesus as king. Also, when Jesus died, He chose to give up His spirit and die. It was entirely in His control. Jesus was buried in a luxury tomb befitting a wealthy man.

    2. Why does John tell us that Jesus legs were not broken; a hyssop branch was used; and that Jesus’ blood flowed out?
    To show the fulfillment of prophecy.

    3. Who secretly followed Jesus?
    Joseph of Arimathea.

    4. What do you understand as the rights of a king? What are Jesus’ rights?
    A king is to be treated with deference and respect. His leadership is to be valued above all and when council is needed, his thoughts are sought. A king has the right to that respect, deference and authority. As a result of a king being treated with great value, he receives luxuries that others might not. Fine food, a warm home and a place to rest his head are seen as the right of a king. Jesus had many of those rights, both on earth and now in Heaven. He did not always receive the respect or absolute authority from those around him. His followers deserted Him in His hour of need. Still, Jesus is king and this can be seen in how the angels attended to His needs after the temptation in the wilderness. Jesus received a proper burial in a luxury tomb after all the proper rituals of burial were carried out.

    5. What does this passage have to say about those who follow Jesus in secret fear?
    Those who follow Jesus in secret fear can only have it remain secret for so long if they want to do anything for Christ. Joseph of Arimathea was able to keep his belief secret but in order to provide Jesus with a proper burial, he had to go and ask for the body, thus showing his allegiance. There comes a time in the life of every believer when they need to decide if they are going to be effective for Christ and step out in faith. Our lives cannot be ruled by fear for if we are doing the work of Christ, nothing can eternally harm us.

  3. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. Which facts in John’s account point to Jesus as king?Even though Jesus is crucified, along with common criminals, He is still placed in a rich man’s tomb as opposed to a common tomb, while wild animals could easily destroy the body. Also, a sign placed over his head pronounced Him the king of all peoples.

    2. Why does John tell us that Jesus legs were not broken; a hyssop branch was used; and that Jesus’ blood flowed out? His legs were not broken so that scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” A hyssop branch was used to make the connection between sacrificing lambs and the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God. And Jesus’ blood flowed out in order to be a testimony and a witness to all mankind.

    3. Who secretly followed Jesus? Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.

    4. What do you understand as the rights of a king? What are Jesus’ rights? The rights of the a king are to rule over their subjects and execute judgment and justice. Jesus’ rights are to rule over all creation because He is the Creator and to decide what it is just for His subjects.

    5. What does this passage have to say about those who follow Jesus in secret fear? They fear Jewish leaders.

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. He fulfilled the prophecy that his clothes would not be torn, but divided among them; that not a bone would be broken, and He was laid in a special tomb where no one else had been laid and he is King of all nations seen by the sign over his head.
    2. All of those things represent cleansing for our sins.
    3. Joseph of Arimithea.
    4. When I think of the rights of a king I think of having rule over the people and control over events. From mans perspective Jesus didn’t really have rights; His only rights were from his Father.
    5. I don’t know…only that Joseph of Arimithea followed him secretly because he feared the Jews??

  5. Cassie Clark says:

    1. Although it was meant to be cynical, Pilate posted a sign that declared to all the world that Jesus was the King of the Jews. He obviously noticed something different in Jesus, shown by the interesting question he asked of Him: “What is truth?” In addition, others must have saw Jesus as something more than ordinary. Two of the men who feared becoming public about their faith in Him gave him a special burial in a brand new tomb.
    2. These things were told in order to note fulfilled prophecies. Jesus was the king whom the prophets foretold!
    3. Nicodemus and Joseph or Arimathea.
    4. A king is one who is revered just below God. He has command over all his subjects and deserves to be honored and respected. Jesus, as God had rights over all people and all creation. He surrendered His control, His power and His comfort and allowed Himself to be placed below a slave.
    5. They still honored Him, but only in His death, not in His life.

  6. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. One fact that points to this is the sign that is hanging above His cross which reads “Jesus, King of the Jews”. Eventhough this is suppossed to mock Him, in reality it points to the truth that He is the King.

    2. John tells us this because it refers back to the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah. These passages show that Jesus is the one that fulfilled the Old Testaments prophecies and that He is the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for.

    3. Joseph of Arimathea and possibly Nicodemus

    4. When I think of the rights of a King I automatically think of respect and reverence and maybe even a little fear. On the cross, Jesus does not even have the basic rights of a human being.

    5. Joseph of Arimathea followed Jesus secretly and thus never got to spend time with Jesus listening and learning from Him because he was so afraid of what others would think. Instead of interacting with the living Jesus, he only had interaction with Jesus’ dead body. As Christians when we follow Jesus in fear, we miss out on truly knowing Jesus. Our fear of what others will think of us can cause us to miss out on being with Jesus and learning from Him.

  7. aaron wright says:

    1. -the sign that stated, “JESUS OF NAZERETH, KING OF THE JEWS”
    -He gave up his own spirit under his own will

    2. those were all events that fulfilled prophecy

    3. Joseph of Arimathea

    4. to be treated with honor and respect. Jesus was treated like a common
    criminal.

    5. Jewish leaders

  8. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) I think that the fact that Pilate’s “sentence” for Jesus is that he was or at least claimed to be the king of the Jews, points to Jesus’ kingship.
    2) He tells us that his legs were not broken and about the hyssop plant so that we would know that the prophecies had been fulfilled, and the blood proves that he was in fact dead.
    3) Joseph and Nicodemus
    4) Kings have authority over everyone, and they can do whatever they want. They are generally rich and proud. Although Jesus has all authority on earth and in heaven, he chose to humble himself and take on all our sin.
    5) That they can be just as much of devoted Christians as we are.

  9. Kendalle Tanner says:

    Jesus was mocked for being “the king of the Jews” yet, he was not just the King of the Jews but also of the gentiles. John tells us the Jesus that Jesus legs were not broken; a hyssop branch was used; and that Jesus’ blood flowed out because Jesus had to fulfill the prophesies.

  10. Jessica Gentry says:

    1.) The main fact that points to Jesus as King is that it was written on the sign above Him. Though this was meant to be written as a cheap shot at Jesus, even the powerful leader Pontias Pilate did not want to change the writing from “The King of the Jews” to “the man who claimed to be the king of the Jews”. It is also noted that this title was written in all three of the main languages of that time and place, which sort of seem to signify how Jesus is Lord and King over all, as in over every tribe and tongue. Also, Jesus’ kingship is shown by His very act of death on the cross, becuase only a King would go to such lengths to benefit the kingdom.

    2.) The reason that John informs us that Jesus’ legs were not broken, a hyssop branch was used, and that Jesus’ blood and water was poured out is all for the purpose of showing how Jesus’ death fulfilled Scripture and therefore He was in fact the one true Messiah, and Son of God. By Jesus fulfilling the Scripture in this way it allowed for us to see Jesus’ connection to the Old Testament and how Jesus, as He said did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, and this He did.

    3.) Joseph secretly followed Jesus and Nicodemus was also with him, and he too had previously been afraid to publically follow Jesus, as he came to Jesus in the middle of the night.

    4.) When I think of a King’s rights I think of the respect and reverence and fear that their position demands. I think of the power that they are entitled to and the authority that they hold. Jesus however did not have such rights, certainly he has power and authority to rule over all the earth, but in his death upon the cross he laid down his rights to these powers and he gave over full control to His Father, to whom He said, “Your will not my own”. In an obvious sense Jesus was stripped of His royal rights as He was not respected at all, to the very point of being stripped of His clothes, mocked, torchered, and crucified next to criminals. The beauty though is that no one could take His life from Him, He literally had to offer it up.

    5.) By secretly following Jesus, Joseph and Nicodemus missed out on the actual life of Christ being that in this scene they are now retrieving His body. Also we can see that we should not live as secret followers of the Lord, becuase He was not secret about His love for us, but instead made the most public display of affection as He gave up His life for us, and when the end comes, we like Joseph and Nicodemus will realize what we have missed out on if we did not live fully for the Lord.

  11. rebecca Langer says:

    1. Well, the sign shows that Jesus as King that Pilate wrote out. Also, Jesus fulfilled the prophecies as the Messiah who would be the King of the Jews.

    2. Thse details about his death were to show that Jesus did indeed fulfill prophecy that was spoken in the Old Testament.

    3. Many if the leaders secretly followed Jesus like Nicodemus and Joseph of arimethia. .

    4. As a King, Jesus could have easily come down off of the cross. He could have had everyone killed and punished for wjhat they had done to him, but instead he showed love to those wqho persecuted Him.

    5. the passage says that the people who followed Jesus in secret were very afraid of the religious leaders.

  12. 1. The sign that Pilate wrote, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews”
    2. He was showing that Scripture had been fulfilled by Jesus’ blood flowing out, and His bones not being broken.
    3. Joseph of Arimathea.
    4. From my basic understanding, a king is treated with the utmost royalty, respect, fear, and obedience. Jesus was treated terribly by those who crucified Him, but the Father protected the Son’s body even after His death. God treated His Son like a king, as did those who buried Him.
    5. I’m not entirely sure– I suppose that they are fearful if they are following Him in private?

  13. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.Which facts in John’s account point to Jesus as king?
    – The king to all nations( sign written in Aramaic, Latin, Greek and so on)

    2.Why does John tell us that Jesus legs were not broken; a hyssop branch was used; and that Jesus’ blood flowed out?
    – In order to tell that His death was something that had been planned according to the Bible.
    3.Who secretly followed Jesus?
    -Josheph of Arimathea
    4.What do you understand as the rights of a king? What are Jesus’ rights?
    – Rights of a king are both reigning and serving his people.
    Jesus was called the king when he humbly surrendered everything.
    5.What does this passage have to say about those who follow Jesus in secret fear?
    – Those who secretly follow Jesus in secret fear pleased God, and they are set aside from others.

  14. Moon [ED 2203;6:00pm class] says:

    1. knowing Jesus as king in John’s account is not only by people’s testimonies but also Jesus’ fulfillment of OT prophecies; not any bones broken,a hyssop branch, casting lots for Jesus’ garment, Jesus’ blood flowed out..
    2. Since those facts were already written in Old Testament prophecies, they demonstrate Jesus was the King, Messiah.
    3. Joseph of Arimathea
    4.
    5. in my personal interpretation and opinion, even though someone follows Jesus in secret fear so that the one has not shown his faith to men, if the one’s faith has been actually active in God, God may please the faith in Him. Joseph of Arimathea did a crucial work of burial of Jesus Christ in new tomb. Even though he could not have faith to show people his faith in Jesus as the fear of men, but he has shown God his faith as the burial of Jesus. I do not know the measure of our faith in God’s perspective, but i know God pleases even our little faith in Him and do work in our lives.

    ** this post challenges me to be awake before the Gospel. And it reminds me Jesus came not by an accident but by God’s tremendous love-plan towards this world, for us! praise God and thank God for the glories of His love!

  15. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    Which facts in John’s account point to Jesus as king?
    – 1. The the notice Pilate prepared and fastened to the cross read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. This shows that Pilate recognized Jesus as the King of the Jews. 2. Soldiers took Jesus’ clothes and this shows that all the prophesies concerning Jesus in the Scripture had been fulfilled.

    Why does John tell us that Jesus legs were not broken; a hyssop branch was used; and that Jesus’ blood flowed out? Because it was what the scripture said about Jesus and it happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled.

    Who secretly followed Jesus?
    Joseph of Arimathea
    What do you understand as the rights of a king? What are Jesus’ rights?

    What does this passage have to say about those who follow Jesus in secret fear?
    If we truly believe that Jesus will come again, we don’t have to feel fear..(?)

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