Summary: Jesus Christ was first introduced to the people by John the Baptist as the Lamb of God. He was last introduced by Pilate as teh King of the Jews. Only if Pilate knew just how on course he was with that title.
Behold Your King
Jesus Christ was first introduced to the people by John the Baptist as “The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
The last introduction of Jesus was performed by Pilate, the Roman governor. In presenting Jesus to the mob who clamored for his crucifixion, with these words, “Behold the King, “ Pilate said far more than he realized. This cowardly Roman governor failed to perceive that Jesus was indeed the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He most likely spoke these words of truth concerning Christ out of scorn for the Jewish people whom he hated.
It was the common custom in those days when a criminal was executed that a brief description of the charge for which he had been condemned be written on a placard and placed on the instrument of execution, that passersby might know what had brought him to that end. Pilate had an inscription made, which was printed in three languages and placed on the cross of the dying Redeemer. The inscription read, “Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.”
Why was the charge written in three languages – Greek, Latin, and Hebrew? Perhaps the reason was to make sure everyne in the crowd could read it. Jerusalem was packed with visitors at this time form all parts of the world. But another hand than Pilate’s was in it. It was the hand of providence, for Greek, Latin, and Hebrew were the three great languages of the world. Each of them represented an era of history. Each symbolized a great world movement.
Greek was the language of culture and science – it was the language of the men of letters. Providence was proclaiming that Jesus was King over the realm of culture.
Latin was the official language of civil law and politics, of government, of the Roman Empire. Providence was proclaiming Jesus to be King over the realm of government.
Hebrew was the national language of Palestine. It was the language of revealed religion. It was the language of the Law and the Prophets. Providence was claiming Jesus to be King in the realm of religion, in the realm of the spirit.
Today culture and education, law, and government, religion and ethics should behold and reverence and worship the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. With a spirit diametrically opposed to that which Pilate had – that is, a spirit of utmost respect for him who was crucified – I urge you to consider seriously Christ’s title. We need to behold our King in his full glory.
I. Behold your King in the councils of eternity (John 1:1, 14)
a. The apostle John, in philosophical terms, tells us that the eternal God, who before time began spoke and called light to shine, in time clothes himself in human flesh and walked the face of the earth as a man.
b. Neither his life nor his death on the cross was an accident.
c. From before the foundation of the world in the councils of eternity it was ordained that Jesus Christ should be our King.
II. Behold your King in the manger cradle
a. The babe in the Bethlehem manger was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
i. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son, she will call His name Immanuel.”
ii. Isaiah 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
b. The wise men came seeking, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him”, (Matthew 2:2)
c. An angelic host announced his birth by means of a heavenly anthem.
I know not how that Bethlehem’s babe
Could in the Godhead be;
I only know the manger child
Has brought God’s life to me.
- Harry Webb Farrington
III. Behold your King among the crowds.
a. When Jesus “saw the multitude, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd” (Matt. 9:36)
i. When the King stood in the presence of human need and sorrow, his heart quivered with sympathy and his eyes were a fountain of tears.
ii. He did not turn his ears or his eyes from the needs and troubles of the world.
b. The Christ was deeply moved by the Spiritual depression of the people.
c. The kingly Christ was deeply disturbed by the spiritual destitution of people.
i. They were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd