Hail, King of the Jews…
Preparing Christ for His crucifixion, the soldiers mocked Him as the King of the Jews:
The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him. They knelt before him in homage. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him. -Mark 15:16-20, NAB
Jesus had received a King’s welcome as He entered Jerusalem – less than a week before this – in Mark 11:8-10. Now, in the ultimate twist of fate, Jesus was being ridiculed by the Roman soldiers, while they dressed Him in purple (the color of royalty) and placed the crown of thorns on His head.
The people had once welcomed Christ as a King, but now, their actions helped to embed the crown of thorns deeper into His skin. We, too, may accept Christ as the King of our lives, but our sinful ways add thorns to His crown and help drive the nails into hands and feet.
If Christ is truly the King of Kings, we owe Him our loyalty. We should strive to serve the King, through our words and actions, in every aspect of our lives. He should be the King of our home, our workplace, and our spiritual lives. Otherwise, we are no better than His earliest disciples, who abandoned Him when times were difficult.
The mockery of Jesus did not end with the Roman soldiers; it continues today. Our culture is falling further and further away from faith, but they do not stop with simply not believing. Now, non-believers, atheists, and other anti-Christians seek to ridicule Jesus once again, as well as any who choose to follow Him.
I draw these parallels to prove one point: Christ’s suffering was not a singular event that happened 2,000 years ago; the ripple effects can still be felt today. Fortunately, the same is true for His victory over death. His resurrection continues to bring hope to our lives today.
Some will say that the Bible is an ancient relic that hardly applies to us, but these examples show us that it remains relevant, even in our modern times. We can either help to make a mockery of Christ’s name, or we can celebrate with Him in His victory over death. Come, join in the celebration of Christ’s victory and accept the gift of eternal life.