I went to Crown Hill Cemetary Thursday and walked around. Everywhere you look there are grave markers, tombstones, and monuments. As I walked through the cemetary I thought of members of the church whose graves are at crown hill Cemetary, and I thought about some of the words that I and others shared about them. As I walked through the cemetary I began to read some of the epitaphs on the tombstones. One said died to soon, another said a mother and a friend. Our 23rd President's Harisson is tombstone read "a statesman and a friends of truth. One man's tombstone simply read "I told you I was sick."
Regardless of what the pizza commercial asks I don't think that most people get to pick what goes on their tombstone. In most cases I think the epitaph is what others have to say about you. Except of course the man whose tombstone read "I told you I was sick".
While I was out there walking around Crown Hill Cemetery I began to think about how Jesus never had a proper epitaph. As a matter of fact he never even had a tombstone. The gospel writers indicate that the closest thing to a tombstone Jesus had was a large stone that blocked the mouth of the cave that Jesus' corpse was laid in.
And if most epitaphs are created by what other people say about you then I feel that the Scripture gives us a few epitaphs to choose from for Jesus.
One Epitaph would read "Behold our king" Isn't that what the people said about Jesus! When Jesus entered into Jerusalem that is what the people called him. They sang Hoseana, Hoseana, and Behold or king. Think about what type of Tombstone would hold such an epitaph. Behold our king. One of the biggest graves in all of Crown hill cemetary is the grave of James Wicom Riley a great poet. It rests on the tallest hill in the cemetary and from this grave you can see all of around the city. It is a beautiful and majestic spot with high Roman pillars and yet, even in all of its beauty it's not a tombstone fit for a king. You have to understand that a king is one whom the people pledge their faith to. They put their life in the hand of the king so when these people are crying out Behold our King. It should be a big deal! It should be a huge thing. But the reality is that not everyone who cried out Behold our king really meant it. So people got caught up in the momen!
t. Other people where just there to set Jesus up. You know that sometimes you can lift a person up real high, just to knock him down. And that is what some of the chief priest and scribes did. They didn't want Jesus to be their Lord and King. They resented the fact that Jesus was undermining their authority, the people where listening more to Jesus than they were to the Scribes and Pharisees. They bribed Judas to betray Jesus. And they took Jesus while he was praying. They took him to Pilate, the Roman authority and Pilate asks Jesus "Are you the King of the Jews?" Pilates question was completely different than the statement of the crowd that welcomed Jesus. The crowd in Jerusalem proclaimed "Behold our King" and Pilate is asking "Are you the king of the Jews. What Pilate is saying is "Your not my king, and I don't even know if your the king of these Jewish people."
All over the country and even the world There are "seekers attending churches. Seekers are people who aren't yet Christians but they are trying to find out more about Jesus. They are sort of asking the same question that Pillote asked they are saying "I know your not my king yet, but I want to find out if you really are the king of these people's lives. And many seekers today will make decisions about Jesus Christ not by what the pastor said, or how the choir sang, but where or not Jesus makes a difference in the life of the person that they are sitting next too.
Herod called Jesus Herod called Jesus "King" not in a reverent way he did it by mocking Jesus. Herod was the puppet king Jerusalem he was owned by the Roman Government and when Pilate sent Jesus to him Herod mocked him, had him wiped and put a crown of thorns on his, head. Then he put a fine robe on his back and they laughed at him and cried "Hail King of the Jews." And finally when they hung Jesus on the cross they nailed above his head " King of the Jews"