Monday, April 11, 2022. Good morning! Monday morning, it is the beginning of the passion week. Christinity is celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. The passion is the time where Jesus was arrested, investigated and suffered severely, until he died at a cross on a hill close to Jerusalem.
The investigation of Jesus takes place by the governor named Pilot, it is for example described in the book of Matthew, chapter 27, in the New Testament. This took place approximately in the year 33 AD, though it might have been 1-3 years earlier. The main discussions here are around the exact dating of the Jewish calender in the first century.
Jesus has never had a high social role. He was a carpenter, then a preacher. He collected disciples, but focussed on just 12 of them. He did not fight, nor conquer, nor did he lead an army. Yet, his sermons and actions of mercy drew many people to him, such that he was perceived as a threat to both the religious leaders of his time as well as to the occupying power. He was charged with many charges, and brought to the governour.
Today, let us discuss one little sentence, which is reported from this conversation. The governour asks him: are you the king of the Jews? He searches for a claim of power, or leadership. What does Jesus say?
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” (Matthew 27, 11)
Jesus did not claim to be the king of the Jews. He claimed to be the master of his disciples, of those who chose to follow him. He claimed to be the son of men, the son of God, the eternal being who is beyond all creation, beyond space and time. He claimed to be the messiah, the anointed one, the saviour for his people - even for all people, if they believe in him. He claimed to bring peace and eternal life! That is what Jesus claimed.
Two Questions …
There are two questions, which are important. The first one: is Jesus the king of the Jews? What does it mean, to be this king? And the second question: Is Jesus your king? Is he the king of your life?
Jesus is not the king of the Jews in the sense the governour thought him to be. He is not a worldly king. He is not a conquerer of land or towns. Yet, he is the king of the Jews in a much deeper sense. He is the son of God, and since God is the real king of the Jews, so is Jesus. He is a much deeper and better king than any worldly kings could ever be. He is the eternal saviour.
This leads us to the second question: who is your king? Who is my king? Is it my goals? Is it the framework of my life, which guides me and puts its goals and targets into my days? Or is it the eternal Lord? Is Jesus my king? The early Christians called him Lord and God! Thomas, the one who questioned everything, who did not believe in the resurrection initially, he met him and called him Lord and God.
What does it mean to call Jesus your king? It means to realize that he is what he claimed to be, the son of the creator. We could spend hours of exploring and discussing what it means, of who Jesus is. Reading his story, listening to his words, trying to do what we understand when he talks … all this is part of the path of faith. Faith is not blind faith, but faith which comes from him, from his life, his death, his resurrection. Faith is a reaction to his words and actions. It is our acknowledgement that he is what he is, and the personal trust that here my own life gains a dimension - even more than that, it gains true life, it gains eternal life. (Roland Potthast)