Jesus’ sufferings point to the reality of his Kingship over all

By Jeff Hedglen

NTC Columnist

4/19/2014

CNS-Holy-Saturday-WEB.jpg
A Knight of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem holds the crown of thorns during a ceremony at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris March 21. The relic which was presented was woven from thorn branches and believed to have been placed on Christ during the events leading up to his Crucifixion. (CNS photo/Philippe Wojazer, Reuters)

Jesus just had a Passover supper like never before. Sure they did all the prescribed rituals, with a couple twists: he holds the unleavened bread that his ancestors held in Egypt and says, “This is my body.” He takes the cup of wine and says, “This is my blood.” Now we have a new covenant, one that will last forever.

I have long wondered what his disciples were thinking as this was happening. Did they really comprehend what was taking place before their very eyes? The air must have been thick in that room that night. Thick with the Holy Spirit who was yet to be sent, but already there, for where there is one person of the Trinity there are all three!!

Then the betrayer leaves the supper. Soon after then they all leave and go to the garden, a place they often stayed.

Scripture says the Son of Man had no place to lay his head, thus neither did his followers.

 Gethsemane was a place where they often slept. While they are there Jesus prays, “Let this cup pass… but not my will but yours” while the disciples try to stay awake with Him.

The prayer and sleep are interrupted by the betrayer. He comes to Jesus and gives Him a kiss, a sign of love, friendship, affection, and now, betrayal. Jesus the one who brings freedom is bound and arrested and taken to the Praetorium, (the governor’s house) where he is surrounded by the whole company of soldiers.

If this is not imposing and intimidating enough, they stripped off his clothes. Now, Jesus in all his human, humanity is naked, bare, vulnerable, and exposed. I am sure they want to humiliate Him but Jesus is human AND Divine. The all important “AND.” Though human and experiencing all of this as a human, Jesus is divine and rising above all the game playing, knowing He is not playing a game, He is playing his part.

The next portion of the drama that plays out is a series of ironies. First, they throw a scarlet military cloak about Him pretending that He has some power, but of course He has more power than they know. Then they weave a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head.

A crown is the hat of a king, but usually it is gold and jeweled. Jesus’ is made from thorns, his is a crown of suffering revealing a new kind of glory.

Next, they place a reed in his right hand, like the staff of a ruling king, not knowing they are giving this to the ruler of the world. Jesus is holding the very staff that will be wielded against him. Next they kneel before Him, as they should, but they are unaware of how right they are when they do this.

They do not worship Him they mock Him. And lastly, they mock Him with words of praise, “Hail, King of the Jews!” is what they say, and they are right, all Hail, King Jesus!

The reed they mockingly gave Him is now used to beat Him. They hit his head, where the crown of thorns is, and Jesus experiences pain, anguish, blood, and tears for you and for me.

When their mocking is finished, they strip Him again and dress Him in his own clothes and lead Him off to crucify Him. It is not a long walk on a typical day, but after the beatings and carrying a heavy cross, it is a journey that lasts an eternity.

They came to a place called Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. The place where salvation will soon be won, where our sins will be paid for, where the Father’s love reaches its climax. The night before He shared the sweetest wine of all, he is Himself now given bitter wine to “refresh” Him.

He wants none of it. Then they crucify Him; nails, hammer, and spear in his hands, feet, and side.

Each pierced for you and me, for our sins, for all of them, forever, for everyone.

Jesus is dying, and they gamble for his clothing. A blood soaked garment is their prize. Soaked with the Savior’s blood, his saving blood. They know not how rich they are.

The crucifiers become spectators and watch. Jesus prays — “Father forgive them.” Jesus says, “Mother, here is your son, son here is your mother.” Jesus says that He thirsts. Jesus prays, “Father why have you forsaken me.”

Then He breathes his last. Jesus dies and above his head hangs a sign stating the charges against Him, one last irony, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

Yes it is, Jesus is King of the Jews and the Gentiles and all of creation.

Why, why did all of this take place; why did God send his Son to suffer and die? The short answer is love. The Father desires to be united with us. Sin separates us from God, and God loves the world so much that He gave his only begotten Son so that all who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. So, believe, believe the Good News. Let Jesus be the king of your life.

heglen-button.jpgJesus just had a Passover supper like never before. Sure they did all the prescribed rituals, with a couple twists: he holds the unleavened bread that his ancestors held in Egypt and says, “This is my body.” He takes the cup of wine and says, “This is my blood.” Now we have a new covenant, one that will last forever.

Published
Back