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” (John 19:15 NKJV)!
“Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him” (John 19:15a); are cries of rejection and betrayal by the Jews who wanted to get rid of Jesus. The religious leaders, out of anger and jealousy, deliberately denounced the authority of Jesus over them. Humanly speaking, it would be painful to hear your own kinsmen unanimously convicting you to be crucified without any criminal record; and that was exactly what happened to Jesus. It was more painful to hear the chief priest rejecting the Word of God when he told Pilate that, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15c)!
Before the birth of Jesus, there were prophecies pointing to him as the Messiah; which means he is the King sent by God from above (Micah 5:2, Isaiah 7:14; 9:6). If the chief priest who knew the Scriptures (Old Testament) and these prophecies had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, he wouldn’t have said, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15c)! He made such pronouncements just to please Caesar and his representative in Israel. The action of the chief priest highlights and speaks to the depth of how the Jewish people intentionally rejected the prophecies about Jesus as the Messiah.
To the Jews, Jesus did not fit the messianic profile the prophets spoke of. One of the reasons was that, the Jews were being ruled by the Romans at the time Jesus was born. They were therefore looking for a leader who would bring them freedom from Roman domination. Though, they were looking for a political liberator, Jesus did not come to fulfil that role; rather, he came as a spiritual liberator. He came to deliver mankind from the power of sin and Satan.
John aptly describes this when he wrote; 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17). The significance of John’s words are captured in the suffering that Jesus, who is righteous suffered on behalf of sinful humanity. Paul gives us a clearer picture of the depth of God’s love for us when he said; 6 For when we were still without strength, [a]in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8).
Saints, let’s continue to remind ourselves of how much God loves us; in the face of any suffering and pain that might come our way. For, if it happens that, we are to explore the love of God towards us, it will marvel us to put into perspective, the height, depth, width and length of that love.
As always, let’s continue to hold each other’s hand and pray for ourselves as the coming of Jesus draws closer. Please, do send this study to your contacts as well.
Dr. Charles Mantey
Disiciples Revival Church
NOTE: My second book titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives has just being released. This is a great study material on love. Get your copy at Amazon.
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